A large tree has fallen and crushed a barge moored on the Edward River at Deniliquin.By Zoe McMaugh
High water levels and a soft river bank are being blamed for a large gum tree falling and crushing a party barge on the Edward River at Deniliquin on Wednesday.
The tree came crashing down just before 1pm behind the Riverview Motel.
The massive gum landed right on top of the barge, which is owned by local couple Frank and Di Rinaldi.
It took three hours for the tree to be removed and to salvage items off the busted barge.
Mrs Rinaldi said the vessel was a private barbecue barge that was now ‘‘virtually unusable’’.
Works manager with Deni Works Jim Grant said there was great potential for more trees to come down as the river continues to rise.
‘‘With the drying out and then wetness of the river we do expect to see more trees come down on the river.
‘‘People who live on the river only have certain areas to park their boats, so they do take a chance.
‘‘Locals need to be wary about potentially dangerous trees, and should be able to identify them.’’
The height of the Edward River is rising fast, jumping almost 10cm each day. Yesterday’s height was listed at 3.08m.
Mr Grant said the tree that fell was about ‘‘30 foot’’ — 9.1m.
He said four Deni Works staff assisted with removing the tree and preventing the barge from sinking completely.
‘‘It took about three hours using graders and trucks,’’ he said.
~ Zoe McMaugh
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