Sunday, February 8, 2009

Flooded dragline at Ensham

I've been waiting to post these photos since I've started this blog, they are some of my favourite photos in my collection.

These are some of the most spectacular photos from the central Queensland floods of 2008.

On the 19th January, 2008 the Fairbairn dam in Emerald reached its spillway height and started to overtop. Shortly afterwards, hundreds of megalitres per minute were pouring over the spillway into the Nogoa river.

A few hours later, the levy banks around the Ensham mine broke and water started pouring into several of the pits.

Before the levees broke, Ensham tried moving the dragline out of danger onto safe ground. However, they didn't make it in time and the floodwaters started to surround the dragline.

Eventually, the pits were filled with water and the No. 1 dragline (and a couple of cranes) was completely flooded, with only the boom and the top of the house above the water line.

The Ensham pits, completely underwater:

To completely replace this dragline would be in the order of US$100 million. However, the repairs are estimated to only cost about Aus$50 million.

On the upside, I've been told that this dragline always had electrical issues. I guess a total strip-out and rebuild of the electrical system will help. :)

Stay tuned, in a few weeks I'll post some photos of the inside of the dragline, once the water has receded.

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