Tweed’s for­got­ten big flood

Se­ri­ous flood­ing in 1945

Tweed Daily News - - NEWS -

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.

TIDE TIMES

PHOTO: FILE

FLOODED: Evac­u­at­ing res­i­dents at Chin­derah dur­ing the 1945 flood.

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