Sunday History Photo. Qld

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 08:27
ThreadID: 65393 Views:3794 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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The year 1973 was one of the wettest known over much of Australia, and in keeping with the strong La Niña event that prevailed, the 1973/74 northern wet season started early. By the end of 1973 large areas of the country were saturated. Then came January 1974, which featured probably the biggest continent-wide drenching since European settlement, inundating vast areas of the country. As monsoonal rains poured down, the Gulf Country of Queensland, and extensive areas of the dry centre, were turned into vast inland seas, isolating pastoral stations and causing heavy cattle losses. About 500 people were evacuated from Normanton and Karumba, while 250 stranded passengers on the Townsville-Mt Isa railway were air-lifted to Mt Isa. Some 400-600mm of rain inundated the southern Northern Territory and southwest Queensland in January, more than twice the average ANNUAL total at some locations.
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And then on January 27th Brisbane copped it when waterways in the city experienced significant flooding. The Brisbane River, which runs through the heart of the city, broke its banks and inundated the surrounding areas.It had been an exceptionally wet summer, and by late January most of southern Queensland's river systems were nearing capacity. Cyclone Wanda pushed the systems to the limit, and drew the Monsoonal Trough southward, providing the additional rainfall to the Brisbane valley to produce widespread and severe flooding. The floods peaked at 6.6 meters according to the Port Office gauge at high tide at 2:15 am on January 29th. Continual, non-stop, very heavy rain had fallen for three weeks, leading up to the flood, which occurred on Sunday, 27 January 1974, during the Australia Day weekend. Large areas were inundated, with at least 6,700 homes flooded. Damage at the time was estimated at some $200 million (1974 Australian dollars). The 67,320 tonne Robert Miller unmoored and became adrift in the river. Two tugs were needed to control the large oil tanker. A barge was sunk after becoming caught under and damaging the Centenary Bridge.8,500 homes were flooded in Brisbane and Ipswich. 6000 of these could not be recovered.
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Reply By: Member - Footloose - Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 09:22

Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 09:22
I was a very newly married man driving through that lot. I remember seeing Brisbane in was dramatic to say the least!
Ahhh...they were good memories for me, but I felt sorry for those caught in the floods.
AnswerID: 345819

Reply By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 09:43

Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 09:43
Hi Doug

I remember the Floods vividly, we wern't involved with the
Brisbane Floods, but had plenty of dramas on the Gold Coast, at the
time I was involved with local government, and our time was
taken up with evacuation of residents in the flooded areas, and
after that the massive clean up, where we lived was ok, but I
remember getting called out and I told the wife to go to the local
shop and stock up with Bread and Milk ect,
After I left home within a couple of hours our estate was like an island
people could only get in by small Tinnies, I remember working
around the clock for three days, the Army had a Temporary Mess
you could grab a feed and a cuppa and try to have a short nap in the
4x4 with the Twoway Radio blasting out in your ear, it's been a
while since that happened and we are over due for another one,
the only trouble is the next flood will be a lot worse re the damage
to all the Canal Properties on the Gold Coast.

AnswerID: 345825

Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 10:07

Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 10:07
When we first moved here, we noticed that in a major flood much of the real estate could be under water.
We bought on the side of a hill, about 300m above sea level.
Flat areas are hard to find on this property, and you end up walking around with one leg longer than the other, but at least it doesn't really flood.
Flood mitigation work by the local council does appear to be problematic. (Too busy playing "I'm the king of the castle" I'd guess)
The next big one will bring tears for many as you say Dazza.
FollowupID: 613835

Follow Up By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 14:17

Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 14:17
Hi Footy

We live on the side of a hill now, over looking the low level areas,
bordered by Guinease Creek Rd, just up from Tallebudgera Creek,
all those homes that backed on to the creek had water on their
back door steps a couple of years ago when we had 200mm of rain
and a high tide, I have noticed a couple have been sold since then,
if they have a lot of rain and a tidal surge the whole lot will go under.

FollowupID: 613854

Reply By: Member - Traveller (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 11:21

Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 11:21
Love your Sunday spot Doug, keep it up!

My dear wife-to-be was one of the 250 flown to Mt Isa, where she took up her School Of The Air teaching post for 12 months. That was after being stranded at Ayr-Home Hill on the train for 48 hours!

AnswerID: 345836

Reply By: Member - Axle - Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 13:46

Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 13:46
G/day Doug, It was bad on the East Coast NSW all the way down at that time, Here on the central coast there was havoc caused by big winds and major flooding. Can remember leaning against a wall one night trying to stop it shaking!

Cheers Axle.
AnswerID: 345855

Reply By: DavidEvans - Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 18:54

Sunday, Jan 25, 2009 at 18:54
We got caught in the 73 floods going from Darwin to Sydney. Boulia to Winton (Christmas Day mid way at Hamilton Pub) was spent pushing, pulling all sorts of vehicles and what they were towing in convoy for well over a week. My parents (and us 5 kids - 16, 15, 13, 9 and 2 yo) had a 71 HG wagon and a chesney campervan - sparse compared to the family that wanted to press on with a mansion of a caravan with all the mod cons. Then the return from from Sydney was spent in Townsville to wait out for the train line to open. Then got caught at Elliot when the old Stuart Highway didn't have bridges only causeways. Just goes to show when it does flood you can't win in the Channel Country. A mate here in Darwin got caught a few weeks ago at Longreach and had to double back via Broken Hill. These small towns - en route - welcomed all the extra clients passing through or stopping for that much earned rest due to the extra travel.
AnswerID: 345888

Reply By: takenbyaliens (QLD member) - Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 22:57

Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 22:57
Hi Doug
I remember it well. I was managing a co op store at the University Of Qld at the time. I lived at Yeronga but had to move in with friends as the water got higher. We had milk coming in from Caboolture in milk cans...highly illegal as it was all supposed to be bottled if it was for sale to the public. However we managed to get several hundred pints ( in those days ) in every day and people came with all sorts of containers. Pauls etc were flooded out as they were in West End as per your pic. Mad times and sad times for many people.
According to modern astronomers, space is finite..a very comforting thought particularly for people who can never remember where they left things

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