Monday, January 24, 2011

Dogged Resolve In Face Of Flood

Dogged Resolve

A WOMAN who lost everything in the Black Saturday inferno could lose it all again - to floods.

Kay Crawford moved from Kinglake to grasslands near Kerang to start a new life, but disaster has followed.

The kelpie breeder is refusing to leave her property in the tiny community of Murrabit, about 300km north of Melbourne, so she can stay and protect her beloved dogs.

Ms Crawford moved to the area more than a year ago after escaping from the Kinglake bushfire with nothing but her four-legged family.

Little did she imagine floodwaters would threaten to wash away her new life.

Barricaded in a sandbagged house as the banks of local waterways break around her, Ms Crawford can do little but hope - and pray - that she'll be spared.

"I copped the full whack on Black Saturday - I had seven minutes to get out," she said.

"I had four cats but I lost them in the fires. I got the dogs loaded up and turned back to get the cats but they bolted under the house before I could get them in the carriers.

"I lost everything - lost the lot. It was just me and the dogs after that."

Following the devastation, Ms Crawford toughed it out in a caravan on a friend's property for nine months - without hot water or electricity.

She chose to make her new home on the grassy plains around Kerang for fear of facing another inferno.

"When I moved up here I thought, 'Well, I'm never going to get burnt out here - if I get anything it'll be a grass fire'," she said.

Ms Crawford planned to use the donations she received following Black Saturday to put down a deposit on a house, but the money wasn't quite enough to secure a loan from the bank.

However, a family who bought a kelpie from her years earlier stepped in to help, purchasing the property so she had a roof over her head.

Despite all she's been through, Ms Crawford is philosophical about her position.

"It's just a waiting game for everyone, it's like a ticking time bomb," she said.

"I've still got my dogs - they're keeping me sane. I wouldn't give up my dogs for anyone. We've been through fires - if we have to go through floods, that's the Australian way."

Source: dailytelegraph.com.au


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