Sunday History Photo / Tas

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 07:42
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The northeast of Tasmania is often noted for its relatively benign climate, and certainly receives much less rain than the western half of the island State. It is, however, prone to very heavy rainfall over periods of a few hours to a few days. These events, associated with intense depressions moving down the east coast of the mainland, or developing in situ, can produce intense rainfall over periods up to 72 hours, triggering major flooding. The worst such event in recorded history was in April 1929, when 22 people died.

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Heavy rain began in northern Tasmania on the night of Wednesday 3 April, reached a peak on Thursday, and did not clear until Saturday. Accompanied by northeast winds, the highest falls were in the high country of the north-east, with a secondary area of heavy rain south of the Burnie/Ulverstone area. In both areas, up to 500 mm fell in three days. At Mathinna in the northeast, 337mm fell in the 24 hours to 9am on the 5th.
On the Thursday afternoon, the Briseis Dam, built only a few years before on the Cascade River, gave way above Derby. The resultant torrent rushed down the narrow gorge of the Cascade River for three miles to the township, carrying with it thousands of tons of trees, boulders, rocks and gravel. Houses and offices were overwhelmed,

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At Avoca, the river rose some 17 metres above summer level and by the time the waters receded, the railway station had vanished. Railway tracks were undermined and twisted, bridges were washed away, and landslips blocked the line. Many road bridges throughout the north and northeast were lost.
On the north coast, most rivers were heavily flooded. At Gawler, near Ulverstone, a truck crashed through a bridge into a flooded river, drowning eight people, including six from one family.
Flood waters converged from east and west on the Tamar Valley, causing the river to rise to record levels. An enormous mass of water poured through Cataract Gorge on Friday night, and combining with floodwaters from the North Esk, inundated more than 1000 houses in the low-lying parts of Launceston. Some 3500 people were evacuated. The major power station at Duck Reach was washed away.

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Scenes of devastation - landslides, gullies scoured of vegetation (and even soil), as well as the destruction of man-made structures - were widespread throughout northern Tasmania. It took many weeks to repair the damage.
In southern Tasmania the rain was not so heavy, but was sufficient to cause rivers to overflow across roads, and to inflict heavy stock losses. Southeasterly gales accompanying the rain swept the Derwent Valley on the Thursday night, taking roofs off houses and branches off trees.

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Reply By: Crazy Dog - Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 08:45

Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 08:45
Never knew that Doug....Once again you have provided us with some history about our wide brown land - our sunburnt country has seen it all.

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Reply By: lancie49 - Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 10:57

Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 10:57
When Mother Nature and Man collide there is usually only one winner.
It's an amazing force, water, and often we don't show it the respect it deserves.

Good that we are reminded of the things can can and do happen when MN decides she wants to take back some control.
We need to work with MN and conform to her expectations.
It can be done while we still maintain our progression.

Thanks for putting it out there in front ovus Doug.
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Reply By: dazren - Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 12:18

Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 12:18
Thank you ''again;; Doug, once again you have given us an interesting and informative read, I look forward to these posts of yours, dazren

PS, did you ever get another '' Mate'' after Dusty ???
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Follow Up By: Life Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 12:51

Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 12:51
Yes I did, I got Coster in October 2008.

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Follow Up By: dazren - Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 20:03

Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 20:03
Thats great ! a man should always have a Mate ? dazren
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Thursday, Jun 14, 2012 at 23:51

Thursday, Jun 14, 2012 at 23:51
Great story Doug, didn't know about that one..... How is Costa going??? He looks sooo cute.



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