Tweed’s forgotten big flood
Serious flooding in 1945
THIS weekend marks the 73rd anniversary of the devastating 1945 flood, which at the time was considered the most disastrous flood in living memory.
On Sunday, June 10, 1945, areas of Murwillumbah were inundated by floodwater and by 11.30am the water was two-foot (0.6m) deep in the Regent Theatre on the corner of Wollumbin and Brisbane Sts. By 2pm floodwater had reached Broadway in Main St.
At Condong, the Tweed River was measured as rising four feet (1.2m) in two hours, and by 9pm on the Sunday water was across the Pacific Highway at Stotts Creek near Quirk’s Dairy and in Oak Ave near Byrnes’ property.
At midnight on Monday, June 11, the Tweed River broke its banks in several places and residential sections in the main part of Murwillumbah and on the south side started to flood.
By 3am Knox Park was flooded and water reached the top of the wooden tennis court fences in Wollumbin St. Between 6am and 9am the river reached its peak of 17 feet and 3 inches (5.26m), which was recorded on the Murwillumbah Power House gauge.
Tweed residents were engulfed in the most disastrous flood in living memory, with hundreds of people evacuated by rowboats from scores of homes in the flooded areas.
The 1921 flood reached a higher level but it lasted only a few hours, while the 1945 flood was of a longer duration and reached higher than the 1931 flood.
From Saturday to 9am Tuesday, 1889 points of rain had fallen in the area.
Old residents asserted that the flood on the North Arm was the highest on record, with the water being two feet (0.6m) higher than ever known before.
FLOODED: Evacuating residents at Chinderah during the 1945 flood.