Friends of Morwell National Park

This month we have no activity report since no activity was held. The park was closed after extensive storm and flood damage, so the planned June activity was not held.

2021 Extreme Weather Morwell NP Picnic Area

Overnight on Wednesday June 9, a large low pressure system sent a large storm towards the Latrobe Valley. The storm continued into the next day with strong winds and heavy rainfall. Over the day 150mm fell locally and another 50 mm fell in the following week.

2021 Extreme Weather Morwell NP - River

With all of the rain the local creeks and rivers rose quickly. With little warning the towns of Yinnar and Churchill were isolated by floodwaters and Traralgon was split in half when Traralgon Creek flooded in the center of town. A week later Yallourn Power Station needed to cut back on production related to concerns about the Morwell and Latrobe rivers flooding in their mine.

Around Morwell National Park the impacts of the storm were evident. Many roads were blocked by fallen trees and power was cut from four to seven days.

Billys Creek was also one of the waterways to flood. It rose by a few metres to overflow Junction Road and make the road impassible. Junction Road was cut again a few days later when rains returned and Billys Creek overflowed on to the road once more.

The impact upon the park has also been large. The park is currently closed and likely to be closed for a while since there is considerable damage to be removed before it will be safe for the public to enter. Most tracks will have trees down blocking the track and on Billys Weir Track where is also mud and silt from when the creek overflowed onto the creek banks.

With the bridges across Billys Creek only one remains undamaged.

2021 Extreme Weather Morwell NP Bridge washaway

The first bridge to Braniff’s Road entrance has been washed away (location unknown) while the bridge at Potato Flat has been washed off its foundations and wedged against trees a metre further down the creek. The bridge near Billys Weir has swung around and is hard up against the bank. The only bridge to survive is the new bridge replaced after the last big storm.

July Activity - Sunday July 18, 10.00am

The group will meet in the Kerry Road car park to plan the day ahead. The task is likely to be track maintenance and we will determine where our efforts will be most beneficial on the morning. You will need to bring your lunch along with clothing and footwear suitable for the weather conditions on the day.