Sunday History Photo - QLD

Submitted: Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 07:31
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(Note: Doug is currently revovering from surgery, so I have been asked to post this Sunday History Photo for him. We wish him a speedy recovery.)

A Tropical Cyclone crossed the coast near Cardwell around noon Saturday 9 February 1946.
Winds at Babinda unroofed 12 houses and flattened telegraph poles. At Tully the wind smashed plate glass windows, tore down awnings in Main Street and unroofed the Grandstand at Show-grounds.
Tropical Cyclone recurved over Cairns and Townsville. Pressures of 983 hPa were read at Cairns and Innisfail. Heavy seas pounded the Cairns waterfront with part of the jetty washed away. At Innisfail the wind ripped off some roofs and blew down fences. The Goondi Mill lost roofing iron and the Newspaper Office was damaged. There were washaways, landslides and trees across the road in the Palmerston area. Record flooding occurred in the Burdekin.
The cyclone hit Townsville Saturday (2nd ) night and lightning struck the Powerhouse leaving the city without Power and light. Water entered many houses in Townsville and two houses were swept away at Hermit Park. There was much property damage from wind and flood in Townsville. The airspeed indicator at Garbutt Airport failed at 61 knots. 8 people died in Townsville, 3 drowned and one died from shock when told a relative drowned. Total death toll was 8. A family of 4 drowned when the Don broke its banks at Merinda near Bowen. Water was waist deep in Home Hill and at Sellheim the gauge at 8pm on the 3rd reached 78 feet 6 inches (a record). At Mackay a 30 foot launch was swept out to sea. Railway lines were cut in many places and the Alligator Creek Bridge near Townsville was washed away.
TOWNSVILLE, March 5.-Residents of 60 years stated that the flood in Townsville was the greatest in memory, affecting areas previously regarded as above any possibility of flooding. The damage done by the flood in the city will run into many thousands.

It was not possible to estimate of the damage until the flood waters receded, as many houses in the Hermit Park area were submerged. Some householders lost the greater part of their furniture, which was swept out of their houses. Officials, however, estimated the damage at £200,000 in the city area.
In parts of South Townsville the water was as high as 15 ft. above the road level, The Causeway Hotel, on the bank of the Ross River, had 30 inches of water over the bar counter. AlI with inches of silt and other flood deposits in their homes, many residents of suburban areas of Townsville were unable to obtain town water with which to clean their houses.
The water shortage had been caused not by any damage to the weirs, but by the submersion of the pumps. The wet motors of the pumps will have to be replaced with dry motors before pumping can be resumed.
The city was without gas, which was not expected to be available until Wednesday.

The swirling waters of the Burdekin River swept out to sea the prosperous and progressive settlements of Ayr and Home Hill. That there was heavy losses to property and cane crops there was no doubt, but viewed from the air the conclusion to be arrived at was that residents were not in imminent danger of their lives.
In the town of Ayr the main business centre did not appear to have ' been affected. Queen Street mostly was no different from what it is on an ordinary mid-week afternoon. Cars were parked in the streets and the usual transport was seen to be moving about. In the backyards of many homes washed clothes were drying on the lines.
South of Ayr and the Plantation Creek area B were inundated, but there was more dry land visible than which was submerged.
While Home Hill presented a wetter picture nothing to denote dire desolation could be seen from a low-flying plane . The main street was flooded and to a considerable depth at the eastern end, but people on the upper verandas of hotels waved reassuringly.
A report sent to the Commissioner of Police by the pilot of a reconnaissance plane which flew over Home Hill was to the effect that the water was still up to 7 ft deep in Home Hill, but that the town had escaped devastation, which it was feared would overtake it. There was no sign of scouring or the washing away of homes. Many people were seen in their houses, but some people were seen on the roofs of the hotel and shops. Wide spread flooding was seen in Ayr and the roofs only were showing of five or six houses in the lower part. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic was seen in the main street.
BRISBANE, March 5.-The first attempt to contact Home Hill by water had failed. A police party left Ayr at 3.50 p.m. on that day, but a broadcast message picked up in Brisbane indicated that at 7 p.m. the party had been forced back by the flood.
Sgt Dohgerty, of the Ayr police station, said that another attempt would be made that morning, The Police Commissioner said that an effort to contact Home Hill would made by a 40 ft launch from Townsville. It would try to reach the mouth of the Burdekin, and from there a small boat with an outboard motor would be used.
The Sellheim police reported that heavy damage to property and stock had occurred in the surrounding districts. The approaches to the traffic bridge on the town side of the Burdekin had collapsed.Orange orchards and fruit and vegetable farms had suffered heavily. The orange crop on the farm of J. Moore on the bank of the river was totally ruined.
For miles along the river dead cattle and horses were hung up in trees which were submerged on Sunday night.

Practically all the farms in the outer Bowen and Merinda districts had been devastated by the flood waters from the Don River, which reached a record level. loose soil from the surface had been swept away and replaced by sand and debris. Most were small farms, ploughed ready for winter crops of tomatoes and vegetables, tomatoes being an important export crop for the southern market. They were reduced almost nothing as the result of the flood. Nearly every farm reported a total or nearly total loss of plant and stock. Even growing trees were swept away. Three members of the Ness family who were washed out of their home when the river broke its banks on the Sunday night were saved. They were a girl aged 19 and two boys 17 and 9. They were washed two miles in surging waters until they scrambled into trees.
The latest reports from Mackay indicated that a high tide was backing up the water of the Pioneer River. The police were standing by with boats and equipment in case of a second flooding. The river at Mackay at 5 p.m. was 10 ft and rising slowly, but at Mirani. 18 miles upstream, it was 17 ft and rising fast. Heavy damage had been done to cane farms.
Early in the afternoon Ingham made its first contact with Townsville via Cairns. An urgent ap- peal was made for yeast, as the bread supplies were finished. An RAAF plane took 14 lb. of yeast the next day for the 13 bakers in the town.
Two divisions of the northbound mail train that arrived in Rockhampton on Monday carried 450 passengers, but that total was reduced as a number having decided to return south, while others made their way west.
There were 250 people being accom- modated in carriages at Stanley Street and were obtaining their meals at the refreshment rooms. All were bearing their enforced stay philosophically, lt is unlikely that any train carrying passengers for the far north via the western route would leave before Thursday.
4 April 1946 the Cyclone passed just to the east of Fraser Island and brought heavy to flood rains to SE Qld.
Fred B
VKS 737: Mobile/Selcall 1334

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Reply By: Member - Peter H1 (NSW) - Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 07:41

Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 07:41
Good report Fred, wish Doug a speedy recovery.

AnswerID: 519624

Reply By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 08:29

Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 08:29
Also wishing you a speedy recovery.....its very hard to keep a good man down.
With all the stories you give us, I hope next weeks photo wont be of the 'old' parts taken from you during your recent surgery.... LOL
Insanity doesnt run in my family.... it gallops!

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Reply By: Phil B (WA) - Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 09:56

Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 09:56
Wishing you a speedy recovery Doug.

There is a lot of difference between
‘Human Being’ and ‘Being Human’.

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Reply By: Member -Hilton Hillbillies - Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 10:48

Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 10:48
Thanks Fred,

Another very interesting read with my Sunday morning coffee.


Wishing you all the best and a speedy recovery.
Hope the Dr has given you a few months off from mowing the lawn or doing the dishes ect.


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Reply By: Rockape - Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 10:52

Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 10:52
Get well Doug and hope you can watch Bathurst on tv.
AnswerID: 519637

Reply By: Member - daz (SA) - Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 12:35

Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 12:35
Wishing you a speedy recovery Doug
AnswerID: 519642

Reply By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 14:20

Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 14:20
Thanks Fred and thanks all for your wishes and thoughts, a trip to Germany didn't stop me but this did, but all is good and will be back here and on radio soon

gift by Daughter

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Reply By: Member -Dodger - Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 15:45

Sunday, Oct 13, 2013 at 15:45
Wishing you a speedy recovery Doug.

I look forward to when you post next.

May the force be with you.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 00:14

Monday, Oct 14, 2013 at 00:14
All the best Doug for a complete recovery; good to see you looking in on Fred's posting on your behalf.


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