Close calls for Darraweit Guim

Darraweit Valley Cider owner Marc Serafino with his daughter Lilly pointing to where the water came up over the hill and onto his crop in the 2022 floods. (Star Weekly/Elsie Lange)

Zoe Moffatt

Darraweit Valley Cider owner Marc Serafino has breathed a sigh of relief as the rain clouds cleared, sparing his apple orchard which was left devastated in the 2022 floods.

In October last year for the anniversary of the floods, Star Weekly sat down with Marc to catch up on the recovery efforts and how he felt heading into summer.

With the summer tipped to be scorching, the conversation was dominated with discussions about heatwaves and bushfires. However, this has quickly changed back to water levels and flooding.

“It was close but I think it was just pure blind luck,” Marc said.

“It was a terrible day [Monday], it’s just the contemplation of the amount of work if we get flooded again. I was thinking ‘are we facing those works again’.

“There were some people that it did happen to again. We just got lucky… I couldn’t believe that it didn’t happen.”

Located near Deep Creek, Marc said his neighbour woke him up at 4.30am on Monday morning when the creek levels were rising.

“I think we’re just very lucky that the catchment area wasn’t hit as hard,” he said.

“From what I saw on the record it peaked at 5.5 metres and we flood at six metres. Last year [2022] it was at 7.3-7.4 metres [when it flooded], that’s when even the house was underwater.”

According to a Vic Emergency advice at 8.59am on January 8, the level of the Deep Creek at Darraweit Guim was expected to exceed the minor flood level (5.5 metres) that morning.

Looking towards the future, Marc these storms and weather events seem more frequent, along with the impacts and damage left behind.

“In one night it’s off the charts, the totals seem crazier and crazier. These storms hang over you for eight or nine hours.

“I used to like rain, I used to like listening to the rain and watching storms, I can’t look at a storm like I used to before.

“It ruined rain for me.”