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Between 1852 and 2011, at least 951 people were killed by floods, another 1326 were injured, and the cost of damage reached an estimated $4.76 billion dollars.

1. June 1852 – Gundagai, NSW

89 deaths, entire settlement of 250 people destroyed

There’s little doubt that the 2010/2011 Queensland floods were Australia’s most devastating in terms of damage to infrastructure and cost, but the worst loss of life happened in June 1852 when massive flooding on the Murrumbidgee River swept away most of the town of Gundagai, leaving just three houses standing. Eighty-nine people were killed, more than third of the population. The town was later rebuilt on higher ground.
2. Dec 2010 – Jan 2011 – Brisbane and SE QLD

35 confirmed deaths, $2.38 billion in damage

With more than 200,000 people affected state-wide, the economic damage from this flood was estimated at $2.38 billion. Beginning with rains in September and then culminating with Category 1 Cyclone Tasha crossing the Far North Queensland coast on 24 December 2011, this was probably the most notorious flood in Australian history. In Brisbane, the river peaked at 4.46m on 13 January, flooding more than 28,000 homes and leaving 100,000 without power. Cyclone Yasi, which hit 3 Feburary, caused further damage to already sodden towns.
3. Dec 27, 1916 – Clermont and Peak Downs, QLD

65 deaths, 10 homes destroyed, 50 buildings damaged and 10,000 livestock killed

A cyclone swept the coast along the Whitsunday Passage, bringing heavy rainfall to Clermont, Sapphire and Peak Downs. This usually flood-savvy town forgot to counter for the runoff from nearby catchments and creeks and the debris it carried with it at crushing speeds. The torrent smashed through houses and caused widespread damage. The lower part of Clermont was submerged, so the town was rebuilt on higher ground.
4. Nov 29, 1934 – Melbourne, VIC

36 deaths, 6000 homeless and 400+ buildings damaged

In late November 140mm of rain fell in Melbourne over a 48-hour period. To the east of Melbourne, in South Gippsland, 350mm fell over the same two-day period. The downpour resulted in landslides, evacuations and many submerged roads. Eighteen people drowned, with a further 18 killed by collapsing buildings and other dangers. More than 400 buildings were damaged in Melbourne and 6000 people were left homeless.
5. Feb 15, 1893 – Ipswich, QLD

35 deaths, 300 people injured and two bridges destroyed

Often referred to as the Black February Flood, the extreme weather conditions and heavy rain were brought about by tropical Cyclone Bundinyong. The Crohamhurst weather station recorded 914mm of rain in a 24-hour period and another gauge recorded almost 889mm of rainfall in Brisbane’s water catchments. Both the Victoria Bridge and the Indooroopilly railway bridge collapsed, with 35 people killed and 300 injured.
6. Feb 1927 – Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville, QLD

47 deaths, 16 homes destroyed, an estimated £300,000 in damages

A tropical cyclone hit north of Cairns, causing major rainfall through Queensland, reaching as far as Toowoomba. The torrential rain, which fell from 9-17 February, led to the deaths of 47 people, damaged roads, railways, bridges and buildings – and completely destroyed 16 houses. There was also widespread loss of livestock. The estimated costs reported at the time were in the region of £300,000.
7. Apr 1929 – Northern Tasmania

22 deaths, 1000 homes damaged, 25 bridges destroyed

The area of Northern Tasmania is prone to heavy rainfall over short periods and up to 500mm of rain fell over three days. The floodwater carved a path across the region, destroying everything in its path, including vehicles, buildings and railroad tracks. It inflicted huge stock losses, the evacuation of 3500 people, while damaging 35 bridges and 1000 homes.

8. Feb 1955 – Hunter Valley, NSW

24 deaths, 59 homes destroyed, 5200 homes flooded and 40,000+ people evacuated

The majority of deaths were around Singleton and Maitland, but most other river systems in the state were also in flood. These floods in the Hunter Valley have become symbolic in the Australian psyche of the dramatic nature of flood damage and rescue. About 15,000 people were evacuated from around these two towns, with more than 40,000 people being evacuated from a total of 40 towns. Five of the lives lost were due to electrocution during rescue operations.
9. Jan – Apr 1974 – Brisbane, QLD

14 deaths, 300 injured, 56 homes destroyed, an estimated $68 million in damages

After a particularly wet year in 1973, Brisbane was inundated with water when tropical cyclone Wanda hit the north of the city on 25 January 1974. By 29 January the Brisbane area had recorded 900mm of rain, with 314mm of rain falling in a 24-hour period. In the coming months the torrential rain swept down the east coast, causing floods in parts of NSW and Tasmania. The floods killed 14 people and injured 300 more, as well as destroying 56 homes and damaging 6000 others. In all, an estimated $68 million worth of damages occurred.
10. Aug 1986 – Hawkesbury and Georges River Flood, NSW

6 dead, 10,000 homes damaged, an estimated $35M in damages.

With the rainfall reaching 327.6mm in 24 hours, this day has been dubbed Sydney’s wettest day ever. The torrential rain created chaos, with flooded roads prompting many motorists to abandon their cars. Bus services were severely disrupted in the city and trains were halted due to flooded tunnels.

 

On This Day ……. 31st May 1942

When the town of Darwin was bombed by the Japanese in World War II, Australians were forced to accept the reality of how close the war was. Further bombing raids continued along Australia’s northwestern coastline, and even Townsville and Mossman in far north Queensland, but the war was truly brought home to Australians living along the more populated east coast on the day that three Japanese submarines entered Sydney Harbour. On the afternoon of 31 May 1942, three Japanese submarines sat approximately thirteen kilometres out from Sydney Harbour. Each launched a midget submarine, hoping to sink an American heavy cruiser, the USS Chicago, which was anchored in the harbour. One midget was detected by harbour defences at about 8:00pm, but was not precisely located until it became entangled in the net; the two-man crew of the submarine blew up their own vessel to avoid capture. When the second midget was detected after 10:00pm, a general alarm was sounded. The third midget was damaged by depth charges, and the crew also committed suicide to avoid capture. When the second midget was detected after 11:00pm and fired upon, the submarine returned fire, hitting the naval depot ship HMAS Kuttabul, a converted harbour ferry, which served as an accommodation vessel. Nineteen Australian and two British sailors on the Kuttabul died, the only Allied deaths resulting from the attack, and survivors were pulled from the sinking vessel. The submarine presumably returned to its mother ship, known as I-24. Nine days later, on 8 June 1942, I-24 surfaced off Sydney, about 10 km off Maroubra. For four minutes, the submarine’s deck gun was fired at the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Every shot landed well short of its target, with at least 10 shells hitting the residential suburbs of Rose Bay, Woollahra and Bellevue Hill. All but one of the shells failed to explode and there were no fatalities or serious injuries.

On this day …….. 29th of August 1941

Arthur Fadden, the second of five men who served as Australian Prime Minister during World War II, is sworn into office.

At the time that World War II began, Australia’s Prime Minister was Robert Menzies. It was Menzies who made the announcement in September 1939 that Australia was at war with Germany. However, party dissension led Menzies to resign as Prime Minister in August 1941. Menzies’ successor was Arthur Fadden. Fadden was born in Ingham, Queensland in 1895, and first entered politics as an alderman for Townsville in the State Parliament. After losing Townsville in 1935, and declaring his exit from politics permanently, he then won the Federal seat of Darling Downs in 1936. Fadden was one of five Country Party members included when Menzies reshuffled his Cabinet to form a coalition government with the Country Party in March 1939. He was given the portfolios of Air and Civil Aviation when three Country Party ministers were killed in an aeroplane crash in August 1940. He rose to the position of Deputy Leader of the Country Party and, following a leadership crisis within the party, was officially elected leader of the Country Party in March 1941. During this time, he also served as Deputy Prime Minister while Menzies was overseas for four months. Soon after Menzies’ return from overseas, party dissension caused him to resign. A joint United Australia Party – Country Party meeting resulted in Arthur Fadden being elected Prime Minister, and he was sworn in to office on 29 August 1941. However, in the federal election five weeks later, the coalition government lost majority support in the House of Representatives, and John Curtin became Prime Minister.

Between 1852 and 2011, at least 951 people were killed by floods, another 1326 were injured, and the cost of damage reached an estimated $4.76 billion dollars.

1. June 1852 – Gundagai, NSW

89 deaths, entire settlement of 250 people destroyed

There’s little doubt that the 2010/2011 Queensland floods were Australia’s most devastating in terms of damage to infrastructure and cost, but the worst loss of life happened in June 1852 when massive flooding on the Murrumbidgee River swept away most of the town of Gundagai, leaving just three houses standing. Eighty-nine people were killed, more than third of the population. The town was later rebuilt on higher ground.
2. Dec 2010 – Jan 2011 – Brisbane and SE QLD

35 confirmed deaths, $2.38 billion in damage

With more than 200,000 people affected state-wide, the economic damage from this flood was estimated at $2.38 billion. Beginning with rains in September and then culminating with Category 1 Cyclone Tasha crossing the Far North Queensland coast on 24 December 2011, this was probably the most notorious flood in Australian history. In Brisbane, the river peaked at 4.46m on 13 January, flooding more than 28,000 homes and leaving 100,000 without power. Cyclone Yasi, which hit 3 Feburary, caused further damage to already sodden towns.
3. Dec 27, 1916 – Clermont and Peak Downs, QLD

65 deaths, 10 homes destroyed, 50 buildings damaged and 10,000 livestock killed

A cyclone swept the coast along the Whitsunday Passage, bringing heavy rainfall to Clermont, Sapphire and Peak Downs. This usually flood-savvy town forgot to counter for the runoff from nearby catchments and creeks and the debris it carried with it at crushing speeds. The torrent smashed through houses and caused widespread damage. The lower part of Clermont was submerged, so the town was rebuilt on higher ground.
4. Nov 29, 1934 – Melbourne, VIC

36 deaths, 6000 homeless and 400+ buildings damaged

In late November 140mm of rain fell in Melbourne over a 48-hour period. To the east of Melbourne, in South Gippsland, 350mm fell over the same two-day period. The downpour resulted in landslides, evacuations and many submerged roads. Eighteen people drowned, with a further 18 killed by collapsing buildings and other dangers. More than 400 buildings were damaged in Melbourne and 6000 people were left homeless.
5. Feb 15, 1893 – Ipswich, QLD

35 deaths, 300 people injured and two bridges destroyed

Often referred to as the Black February Flood, the extreme weather conditions and heavy rain were brought about by tropical Cyclone Bundinyong. The Crohamhurst weather station recorded 914mm of rain in a 24-hour period and another gauge recorded almost 889mm of rainfall in Brisbane’s water catchments. Both the Victoria Bridge and the Indooroopilly railway bridge collapsed, with 35 people killed and 300 injured.
6. Feb 1927 – Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville, QLD

47 deaths, 16 homes destroyed, an estimated £300,000 in damages

A tropical cyclone hit north of Cairns, causing major rainfall through Queensland, reaching as far as Toowoomba. The torrential rain, which fell from 9-17 February, led to the deaths of 47 people, damaged roads, railways, bridges and buildings – and completely destroyed 16 houses. There was also widespread loss of livestock. The estimated costs reported at the time were in the region of £300,000.
7. Apr 1929 – Northern Tasmania

22 deaths, 1000 homes damaged, 25 bridges destroyed

The area of Northern Tasmania is prone to heavy rainfall over short periods and up to 500mm of rain fell over three days. The floodwater carved a path across the region, destroying everything in its path, including vehicles, buildings and railroad tracks. It inflicted huge stock losses, the evacuation of 3500 people, while damaging 35 bridges and 1000 homes.

8. Feb 1955 – Hunter Valley, NSW

24 deaths, 59 homes destroyed, 5200 homes flooded and 40,000+ people evacuated

The majority of deaths were around Singleton and Maitland, but most other river systems in the state were also in flood. These floods in the Hunter Valley have become symbolic in the Australian psyche of the dramatic nature of flood damage and rescue. About 15,000 people were evacuated from around these two towns, with more than 40,000 people being evacuated from a total of 40 towns. Five of the lives lost were due to electrocution during rescue operations.
9. Jan – Apr 1974 – Brisbane, QLD

14 deaths, 300 injured, 56 homes destroyed, an estimated $68 million in damages

After a particularly wet year in 1973, Brisbane was inundated with water when tropical cyclone Wanda hit the north of the city on 25 January 1974. By 29 January the Brisbane area had recorded 900mm of rain, with 314mm of rain falling in a 24-hour period. In the coming months the torrential rain swept down the east coast, causing floods in parts of NSW and Tasmania. The floods killed 14 people and injured 300 more, as well as destroying 56 homes and damaging 6000 others. In all, an estimated $68 million worth of damages occurred.
10. Aug 1986 – Hawkesbury and Georges River Flood, NSW

6 dead, 10,000 homes damaged, an estimated $35M in damages.

With the rainfall reaching 327.6mm in 24 hours, this day has been dubbed Sydney’s wettest day ever. The torrential rain created chaos, with flooded roads prompting many motorists to abandon their cars. Bus services were severely disrupted in the city and trains were halted due to flooded tunnels.

 

On This Day ……. 31st May 1942

When the town of Darwin was bombed by the Japanese in World War II, Australians were forced to accept the reality of how close the war was. Further bombing raids continued along Australia’s northwestern coastline, and even Townsville and Mossman in far north Queensland, but the war was truly brought home to Australians living along the more populated east coast on the day that three Japanese submarines entered Sydney Harbour. On the afternoon of 31 May 1942, three Japanese submarines sat approximately thirteen kilometres out from Sydney Harbour. Each launched a midget submarine, hoping to sink an American heavy cruiser, the USS Chicago, which was anchored in the harbour. One midget was detected by harbour defences at about 8:00pm, but was not precisely located until it became entangled in the net; the two-man crew of the submarine blew up their own vessel to avoid capture. When the second midget was detected after 10:00pm, a general alarm was sounded. The third midget was damaged by depth charges, and the crew also committed suicide to avoid capture. When the second midget was detected after 11:00pm and fired upon, the submarine returned fire, hitting the naval depot ship HMAS Kuttabul, a converted harbour ferry, which served as an accommodation vessel. Nineteen Australian and two British sailors on the Kuttabul died, the only Allied deaths resulting from the attack, and survivors were pulled from the sinking vessel. The submarine presumably returned to its mother ship, known as I-24. Nine days later, on 8 June 1942, I-24 surfaced off Sydney, about 10 km off Maroubra. For four minutes, the submarine’s deck gun was fired at the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Every shot landed well short of its target, with at least 10 shells hitting the residential suburbs of Rose Bay, Woollahra and Bellevue Hill. All but one of the shells failed to explode and there were no fatalities or serious injuries.

On this day …….. 26th of January 1896

Tropical Cyclone Sigma caused destruction from Townsville to Brisbane on the 26th of January 1896. 18 people were killed, most of whom lost their lives when a storm surge caused a breach of the Ross River on 26 January, travelling 3 miles (4.8 km) upstream, and flooding parts of Townsville to a depth of 2 metres (6 ft 7 in).

 

 

On this day …….. 29th of August 1941

Arthur Fadden, the second of five men who served as Australian Prime Minister during World War II, is sworn into office.

At the time that World War II began, Australia’s Prime Minister was Robert Menzies. It was Menzies who made the announcement in September 1939 that Australia was at war with Germany. However, party dissension led Menzies to resign as Prime Minister in August 1941. Menzies’ successor was Arthur Fadden. Fadden was born in Ingham, Queensland in 1895, and first entered politics as an alderman for Townsville in the State Parliament. After losing Townsville in 1935, and declaring his exit from politics permanently, he then won the Federal seat of Darling Downs in 1936. Fadden was one of five Country Party members included when Menzies reshuffled his Cabinet to form a coalition government with the Country Party in March 1939. He was given the portfolios of Air and Civil Aviation when three Country Party ministers were killed in an aeroplane crash in August 1940. He rose to the position of Deputy Leader of the Country Party and, following a leadership crisis within the party, was officially elected leader of the Country Party in March 1941. During this time, he also served as Deputy Prime Minister while Menzies was overseas for four months. Soon after Menzies’ return from overseas, party dissension caused him to resign. A joint United Australia Party – Country Party meeting resulted in Arthur Fadden being elected Prime Minister, and he was sworn in to office on 29 August 1941. However, in the federal election five weeks later, the coalition government lost majority support in the House of Representatives, and John Curtin became Prime Minister.

Between 1852 and 2011, at least 951 people were killed by floods, another 1326 were injured, and the cost of damage reached an estimated $4.76 billion dollars.

1. June 1852 – Gundagai, NSW

89 deaths, entire settlement of 250 people destroyed

There’s little doubt that the 2010/2011 Queensland floods were Australia’s most devastating in terms of damage to infrastructure and cost, but the worst loss of life happened in June 1852 when massive flooding on the Murrumbidgee River swept away most of the town of Gundagai, leaving just three houses standing. Eighty-nine people were killed, more than third of the population. The town was later rebuilt on higher ground.
2. Dec 2010 – Jan 2011 – Brisbane and SE QLD

35 confirmed deaths, $2.38 billion in damage

With more than 200,000 people affected state-wide, the economic damage from this flood was estimated at $2.38 billion. Beginning with rains in September and then culminating with Category 1 Cyclone Tasha crossing the Far North Queensland coast on 24 December 2011, this was probably the most notorious flood in Australian history. In Brisbane, the river peaked at 4.46m on 13 January, flooding more than 28,000 homes and leaving 100,000 without power. Cyclone Yasi, which hit 3 Feburary, caused further damage to already sodden towns.
3. Dec 27, 1916 – Clermont and Peak Downs, QLD

65 deaths, 10 homes destroyed, 50 buildings damaged and 10,000 livestock killed

A cyclone swept the coast along the Whitsunday Passage, bringing heavy rainfall to Clermont, Sapphire and Peak Downs. This usually flood-savvy town forgot to counter for the runoff from nearby catchments and creeks and the debris it carried with it at crushing speeds. The torrent smashed through houses and caused widespread damage. The lower part of Clermont was submerged, so the town was rebuilt on higher ground.
4. Nov 29, 1934 – Melbourne, VIC

36 deaths, 6000 homeless and 400+ buildings damaged

In late November 140mm of rain fell in Melbourne over a 48-hour period. To the east of Melbourne, in South Gippsland, 350mm fell over the same two-day period. The downpour resulted in landslides, evacuations and many submerged roads. Eighteen people drowned, with a further 18 killed by collapsing buildings and other dangers. More than 400 buildings were damaged in Melbourne and 6000 people were left homeless.
5. Feb 15, 1893 – Ipswich, QLD

35 deaths, 300 people injured and two bridges destroyed

Often referred to as the Black February Flood, the extreme weather conditions and heavy rain were brought about by tropical Cyclone Bundinyong. The Crohamhurst weather station recorded 914mm of rain in a 24-hour period and another gauge recorded almost 889mm of rainfall in Brisbane’s water catchments. Both the Victoria Bridge and the Indooroopilly railway bridge collapsed, with 35 people killed and 300 injured.
6. Feb 1927 – Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville, QLD

47 deaths, 16 homes destroyed, an estimated £300,000 in damages

A tropical cyclone hit north of Cairns, causing major rainfall through Queensland, reaching as far as Toowoomba. The torrential rain, which fell from 9-17 February, led to the deaths of 47 people, damaged roads, railways, bridges and buildings – and completely destroyed 16 houses. There was also widespread loss of livestock. The estimated costs reported at the time were in the region of £300,000.
7. Apr 1929 – Northern Tasmania

22 deaths, 1000 homes damaged, 25 bridges destroyed

The area of Northern Tasmania is prone to heavy rainfall over short periods and up to 500mm of rain fell over three days. The floodwater carved a path across the region, destroying everything in its path, including vehicles, buildings and railroad tracks. It inflicted huge stock losses, the evacuation of 3500 people, while damaging 35 bridges and 1000 homes.

8. Feb 1955 – Hunter Valley, NSW

24 deaths, 59 homes destroyed, 5200 homes flooded and 40,000+ people evacuated

The majority of deaths were around Singleton and Maitland, but most other river systems in the state were also in flood. These floods in the Hunter Valley have become symbolic in the Australian psyche of the dramatic nature of flood damage and rescue. About 15,000 people were evacuated from around these two towns, with more than 40,000 people being evacuated from a total of 40 towns. Five of the lives lost were due to electrocution during rescue operations.
9. Jan – Apr 1974 – Brisbane, QLD

14 deaths, 300 injured, 56 homes destroyed, an estimated $68 million in damages

After a particularly wet year in 1973, Brisbane was inundated with water when tropical cyclone Wanda hit the north of the city on 25 January 1974. By 29 January the Brisbane area had recorded 900mm of rain, with 314mm of rain falling in a 24-hour period. In the coming months the torrential rain swept down the east coast, causing floods in parts of NSW and Tasmania. The floods killed 14 people and injured 300 more, as well as destroying 56 homes and damaging 6000 others. In all, an estimated $68 million worth of damages occurred.
10. Aug 1986 – Hawkesbury and Georges River Flood, NSW

6 dead, 10,000 homes damaged, an estimated $35M in damages.

With the rainfall reaching 327.6mm in 24 hours, this day has been dubbed Sydney’s wettest day ever. The torrential rain created chaos, with flooded roads prompting many motorists to abandon their cars. Bus services were severely disrupted in the city and trains were halted due to flooded tunnels.

 

On This Day ……. 31st May 1942

When the town of Darwin was bombed by the Japanese in World War II, Australians were forced to accept the reality of how close the war was. Further bombing raids continued along Australia’s northwestern coastline, and even Townsville and Mossman in far north Queensland, but the war was truly brought home to Australians living along the more populated east coast on the day that three Japanese submarines entered Sydney Harbour. On the afternoon of 31 May 1942, three Japanese submarines sat approximately thirteen kilometres out from Sydney Harbour. Each launched a midget submarine, hoping to sink an American heavy cruiser, the USS Chicago, which was anchored in the harbour. One midget was detected by harbour defences at about 8:00pm, but was not precisely located until it became entangled in the net; the two-man crew of the submarine blew up their own vessel to avoid capture. When the second midget was detected after 10:00pm, a general alarm was sounded. The third midget was damaged by depth charges, and the crew also committed suicide to avoid capture. When the second midget was detected after 11:00pm and fired upon, the submarine returned fire, hitting the naval depot ship HMAS Kuttabul, a converted harbour ferry, which served as an accommodation vessel. Nineteen Australian and two British sailors on the Kuttabul died, the only Allied deaths resulting from the attack, and survivors were pulled from the sinking vessel. The submarine presumably returned to its mother ship, known as I-24. Nine days later, on 8 June 1942, I-24 surfaced off Sydney, about 10 km off Maroubra. For four minutes, the submarine’s deck gun was fired at the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Every shot landed well short of its target, with at least 10 shells hitting the residential suburbs of Rose Bay, Woollahra and Bellevue Hill. All but one of the shells failed to explode and there were no fatalities or serious injuries.

On this day …….. 26th of January 1896

Tropical Cyclone Sigma caused destruction from Townsville to Brisbane on the 26th of January 1896. 18 people were killed, most of whom lost their lives when a storm surge caused a breach of the Ross River on 26 January, travelling 3 miles (4.8 km) upstream, and flooding parts of Townsville to a depth of 2 metres (6 ft 7 in).

 

 

On this day …….. 17th of December 2012

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Three year old Kyle Cummings of Townsville in Queensland, found a nest of eggs in his back yard, and put them in a plastic takeaway food container and hid them in his bedroom wardrobe. Several weeks later on the 17th of December 2012, his mother opened the wardrobe and found the container. Inside were several 15cm long snake hatchlings, later identified as Eastern Brown Snakes, the worlds second deadliest snake. Fortunately the young snakes were not able to push the lid open. Kyle was lucky that he did not encounter the mother snake while collecting the eggs.