Way Back When

With every flood threat, we often compare a previous with the present. I began to think, how do you measure which flood was worse. I found an article describing the flood of 1890 comparing to previous years.

nn

In March 1890, the paper reported that many of those who had had experience expressed fear that before the lingering rain departed, the Bremer River would be in flood at the same time as the Brisbane River, which, on ordinary occasions, had come down a couple of days later. Further, it suggested that the Bremer was not running as high or as turbulent as it had in 1887, with the backing influence of the Brisbane River had usually caused the most harm.

nn

The engineer in charge of the Ipswich Waterworks Pumping Station on the Brisbane River stated that he had never known such a flood there in his 25 years acquaintance with that stream. The flood of July 1889 was looked upon as the biggest, but this one had surpassed it at the engine station by 8 feet 7 inches; the river had risen 69 feet 7 inches. The water was 9 feet 1 inch in the engine shed when at its height and had covered the machinery and rendered Local Community it unworkable.

nn

Vague rumours had long been afloat regarding a terrible flood at Ipswich in the 1840s, but no one in the city, it would appear, had seen a more significant flood than the present, so far as the eastern end is concerned.

nn

While the high watermark of 1890 exceeded 1887 by 7 feet or 8 feet in the eastern part of the town, it was 4 feet 6 inches or 5 feet lower in the western end than in 1887. Many people in North Ipswich and the lower-lying parts of the south side remember the flood had a significant departure of householders. The waters crept up the hollows a quarter of a mile or more from the river.

nn

They penetrated previously untouched places, creeping slowly and relentlessly higher and higher until people who deemed themselves secure had lost hope.

nn

A significant volume of water stretched back along Devils Gully (at the foot of Limestone Hill), across Brisbane Street and the next two parallel thoroughfares, extending in width from well up Mortimer street to beyond East Street.

Previous Post
Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *