QUEENSLAND FLOOD SUMMARY 1950 - 1959
heavy rains in the middle of the
month , temporary dislocation of road and rail traffic occurred from
lying flooding on the coastal belt and the south-east Downs. There were
stream rises and some flooding in the headwaters of the Condamine
and Brisbane river tributaries , the northern
tributaries of the
River and tropical coastal streams. The Condamine River at
peaked on 19th and the Isaacs River at Clive peaked
Stream rises were reported in all south-western streams and flooding was extensive in the Barcoo River basin where the general heavy rains also made roads impassable and many centres were still isolated at the end of the month. The Thomson River at Blackall peaked on the 18th and the Barcoo River at Isisford peaked on 19th with bad wash-outs and water in the main street. The Barcoo at Currareva (Windorah) peaked on 24th and the Warrego River peaked at Cunnamulla on 26th.
Heavy rain at the end of the month brought renewal of flooding to the northern tributaries of the Fitzroy River. Funnel Creek at Saltbush peaked on 31st. Stream rises in the Burdekin River system and much low level flooding occurred on the tropical coast , particularly the central section.
|1950||February||With all streams
still above normal from the
January rains , the heavy flood rains of the middle of the month caused
extensive traffic disabilities , low level flooding and strong stream
in all coastal , tropical , central and south eastern interior
As waters moved downstream from the upper catchments of the central
, stations further downstream in the south west parts of the State were
affected. By the end of the month Windorah was isolated by Cooper
flood waters which were still rising on 28th.
Sharp flooding over all headwaters of the Condamine River reached record or near record levels in the northern tributaries. Dogwood Creek at Miles and Bungil Creek at Roma both peaked on 18th. Flooding was general over the whole of the Fitzroy River basin. The Isaacs River at Clive peaked on 17th and the Mackenzie River at St Aubins peaked on 20th .
The Burdekin River was only just under the Inkerman Bridge level for most of the month and covered the rails from 20th to 22nd with a peak height on 21st. The Flinders River peaked at Hulberts Bridge on 17th and for many days in the month persistent heavy rains , particularly in the Gulf Country., made roads untrafficable.
Flooding in all south coastal streams was further aggravated by the heavy drenching rains of the last two days of the month. Road , rail and air traffic was disrupted. Low level flooding , extensive washaways and landslides occurred as a result of high flood levels in the Burnett , Mary and Brisbane rivers. The Burnett River at Walla and the Mary River at Gympie both peaked on 1st March. The Brisbane River peaked at Murrumba on 28th and at Lowood on 1st March.
|1950||March||At the beginning
of the month all streams throughout
the whole of the State were either carrying flood waters or freshes.
persistence of heavy flood rainfalls throughout the first half of the
on the catchments of all streams excepting those in the South Coast ,
and Maranoa resulted in severe flooding in central , western , south
and northern interior districts and on the tropical coast. Record or
record levels occurred in all these districts where low level flooding
, traffic dislocation , flood water damage etc, have been extensive.
In the south west quarter of the State all streams were still running at high levels at the end of the month. In many parts of the western half of the State it was reported that surface traffic will be suspended for several weeks. The Barcoo River was 50 to 80 kilometres wide , homes were isolated and food drops from aircraft had been necessary.
Below are some extracts from river reports.
Burdekin River at Inkerman Bridge on 9th - peaked just below 1946 level. Rails were submerged for 14 days from 6th to 19th.
Diamantina River at Birdsville on 23rd - peaked near record.
Cooper Creek at Currareva (Windorah) on 20th - record peak , above 1944 height.
Thomson River at Jundah on 18th - peak.
Georgina River at Urandangie on 16th - record flood. Town almost completely inundated.
Western River at Winton on 10th - record flood. Large area of town under water.
Flinders River at Milgarra on 25th - peak.
Local low level flooding again occurred on the north coast in the last few days of the month , and on 27th on the coast south from Gympie.
|1950||April||Heavy rains from
1st to 8th over the central
interior resulted in much low level flooding and traffic disabilities.
Strong stream rises also occurred in Cooper Creek
, Thomson , Bulloo , Paroo
, Warrego , Belyando
, Flinders , Mackenzie , Dawson
rivers. The general rains of 10th and 11th over the southern interior
freshes in the Condamine and
Many main traffic bridges were under water for several days and the discharge from the Belyando River and adjacent smaller streams kept the Burdekin River just under bridge level for most of the month. Fairly extensive traffic disabilities were also experienced on the north tropical coast during the first half of the month due to the heavy rains that fell during this period.
Below are some extracts from river reports.
Belyando River at Mt Douglas on 12th - peak ( over bridge )
Cooper Creek at Currareva on 11th - peak.
Thomson River at Longreach on 4th - peak ( over bridge )
Bulloo River at Quilpie on 6th - peak ( over rail bridge )
Mackenzie River at St Aubins on 11th - peak.
Comet Bridge untrafficable until 14th.
Dawson River at Taroom on 14th - peak ( over bridge from 8th to 17th )
Flinders River at Milgarra on 17th - peak.
|1950||May||Heavy rains over the central highlands caused stream rises in the Nogoa and Mackenzie rivers. At Comet the bridge was untrafficable from 26th to 30th. On the 29th the Nogoa River peaked at Emerald and the Mackenzie River peaked at St Aubins . By the end of the month both these streams were steadily falling.|
|1950||June||Due to the
eastward movement of the inland rain
depression and to the southerly movement of the coastal cyclone , the
highlands and south-west quarter of the State again received useful 15
to 25mm rainfalls amounts on 22nd and 23rd. But on the night of 22nd
flood rains fell over the southern parts of the South Coast Moreton and
eastern Darling Downs , giving many record or near record 24 hourly
for a day in June , and being mainly responsible for the record or near
record June monthly totals.
Over the South Coast Moreton there were many 75 to 125mm amounts with several over 150mm and a few over 200mm in the Gold Coast hinterland area , ( Springbrook 365mm ). Many 75mm totals were reported on the south-eastern Downs , ( Killarney 110mm ). In view of the very rapid rises in the headwaters of the Condamine and Macintyre rivers there apparently must have been heavier falls on the upper catchments of these streams.
Rapid rises also occurred in the Mary , Pine , Brisbane and Logan rivers and in all these areas low level flooding , traffic and communication dislocation , damage to crops and property losses were extensive. Some hail damage was also reported and flooding on the southern Downs is reported to have caused considerable damage in the wheat fields. Estimated damage in south-eastern Queensland was reported at half a million pounds and two lives were lost.
Flooding in the upper reaches of the Condamine River was the highest on record, the stream reaching a width of 5 to 8 kilometres. Warwick recorded a record peak on 23rd. Tummaville recorded a record peak on 24th. As flood waters moved downstream Condamine recorded the second highest height on record on 2nd July. The Macintyre River at Goondiwindi peaked on 27th. The Brisbane River at Murrumba peaked on 23rd.
At the end of the month waters were still flowing down the Diamantina River and Cooper Creek into Lake Eyre. Rain during the month delayed the harvest at Peak Downs where 625,000 bushels of sorghum and 25,000 bushels of sunflower have been garnered. It is anticipated that the harvest will be completed by August with an estimated yield of over a million bushels.
heavy rains of the previous 5
to 6 months , the persistent wet weather and record rainfalls during
month caused State wide flooding reports except in the Carpentaria and
far western border areas. In all other parts of the State traffic
and low level flooding was extensive and considerable flood water
and stock and crop losses were reported , particularly in the southern
Flooding was most severe in the Maranoa , Macintyre , Condamine and Balonne rivers with record or near record levels. The Maranoa River at Mitchell peaked on 27th , ( highest on record ). The Macintyre River at Goondiwindi peaked on 30th , the highest since March 1890. The Balonne River at St George peaked on 31st , ( highest on record ).
Other main streams which reached moderate to high flood levels were the Warrego , Thomson , Barcoo , Belyando , Dawson , Mackenzie , Nogoa and Mary rivers.
|1950||August||From rains in earlier months and the flood rains in July, all central , western and southern interior streams were still carrying heavy flood run-off on 1st of the month. By the end of the first week most streams had reached their peak heights and were falling. The Condamine River at Condamine peaked on 7th. The Balonne River at Surat peaked on 1st and again on 11th. The Cooper Creek at Currareva peaked on 6th. By the end of the month roads were still impassable in the Channel Country and deliveries of mail and food stuffs were still being made by aircraft. Up to the middle of the month surface transport by road and rail , particularly on the southern Downs , was seriously hampered.|
|1950||September||Sharp rises in the Macintyre River resulted from the 75 to 100mm rains on the south-east border highlands on 19th and 20th. A peak height was reached at Goondiwindi on 22nd.|
the heavy rain period of 8th
to 11th , strong stream rises were reported in the Dawson
, Condamine , Balonne , Macintyre
, Paroo and
Bulloo river systems. Heaviest flooding was
reported in the Dawson
, Condamine and Macintyre river systems where low level flooding and
dislocation was considerable.
Below are some extracts from river reports.
Dawson River at Taroom on 12th - peak and well over bridge.
Macintyre River at Goondiwindi on 12th - peak.
Condamine River at Ranges Bridge on 14th - peak and over bridge.
( Ranges Bridge under water from 13th to 17th )
stream rises were reported in the
third week of the month resulting from the heavy widespread rains
this period. These rises were only moderate in the South
, Condamine and Macintyre river
systems and the lower Burdekin
River. In all other streams, particularly the Nogoa
, Dawson , Belyando , Warrego
Barcoo river systems, record or near record
flood levels were reported.
By the close of the month all these streams were still carrying heavy
run-off. Low level flooding dislocation and property damage was
and some stock losses were reported , whilst it appears likely that one
life was lost in the Nogoa River.
Below are some extracts from river reports.
Nogoa River at Emerald on 27th - record height.
Mackenzie River at St. Aubins on 29th - 3rd highest on record.
Dawson River at Theodore on 29th - peak.
Belyando River at Mt Douglas on 30th - above bridge height and rising. Warrego River at Augathella on 25th - record height.
|1950||December||Due to the heavy
flood rains of November all
streams in the central , southern and south-west interior were carrying
heavy flood run-off early in December. By the end of the first week all
these streams had reached their peak heights and were
The following peak heights recorded . On 1st , at Surat on the Balonne River and at Longreach on the Thomson River. On 2nd , at Cunnamulla on the Warrego River. On 6th , at Boolburra on the Dawson River , at Riverslea on the FitzroyRiver and at Mt. Douglas on the Belyando River. These near record to record floods caused extensive stock losses particularly in the central interior parts of the State. In the Alpha district alone losses of over 10,000 pounds were reported.
Heavy rains on the tropical coast in the first week of the month caused further traffic disabilities and considerable damage to sugar cane crops was reported. Flood rains from 19th to 21st , giving several totals of 150 to 225mm in the north-western parts of the State , caused strong stream rises in the Flinders River and other Gulf streams and further rises in the Thomson and Barcoo rivers and the Cooper Creek system. By the end of the month the Flinders River downstream at Milgarra was still rising and in western Queensland floodwaters were still hampering surface traffic.
|1951||January||Heavy rains from
the end of the 1st week to
the end of the 3rd week caused the first flood period. Record or near
flood levels were reported in all tropical coast streams and in the Burdekin
and Fitzroy river systems. Traffic dislocation was
rail routes and major traffic arteries were cut and the Inkerman
bridge over the Burdekin River was submerged for 3 weeks from 10th to
Many homes in low lying areas had to be evacuated and food drops were
in the Muttaburra and Richmond areas.
The Thomson River at Longreach reached a record height on 16th , higher than the 1922 flood , and Landsborough Creek at Muttaburra was well over the traffic bridge on 27th. Low level flooding was very severe on the central tropical coast and the Pioneer River peaked at Mirani on 11th. In the Fitzroy River system torrential rains of over 1000mm on the headwaters of the Isaacs River were mainly responsible for the extensive flooding in Rockhampton. At Riverslea on the Fitzroy River a record height was recorded on 18th, the previous record being in April 1928.
In the second heavy rain period in the final week of the month , heavy flooding resulted in the Gulf streams and further rises were reported in the central interior, Burdekin and Fitzroy systems. Sharp rises were reported in the Condamine and Macintyre systems where upstream stations reached peak heights on the last day of the month. Further downstream the Condamine River was still rising on 31st with water above bridge level at Ranges Bridge.
Flooding was most severe over the South Coast Moreton where 500 to 750mm seven day rainfall totals caused strong rises in the Mary and Brisbane river systems and in other smaller coastal streams. All transport services were disrupted and low level flooding caused considerable property damage and covered all roads from Brisbane to a depth of a metre or more. Many houses were evacuated particularly in the Maroochy River districts where flooding was very severe. One life was lost at Currumundi Lake near Caloundra.
|1951||February||From the near
State wide flooding in January
most streams were carrying heavy flood run-off at the opening of the
The majority of streams had reached their peak height and were falling
by the end of the first week. However in the slower moving southern
and south west streams , rises were still being reported at downstream
stations at the close of the month.
Traffic was suspended for several days at Ranges Bridge and Condamine Bridge on the Condamine River, and at Nappamerri in the lower reaches of Cooper Creek levels were still rising on 27th.
The Inkerman Bridge over the Burdekin River was covered by flood waters on 2nd and 3rd and flood rains of 100 to 150mm on 8th and 9th over the northern catchments of the Burdekin again lifted flood waters over the bridge on 10th and 11th. These heavy flood rains of 8th and 9th on the north coast and adjacent highlands also caused temporary road and rail traffic dislocation between Tully and Cairns, and freshes in the eastern Gulf streams.
rains on 19th and 20th totalling
125 to 250mm, with a few over 375mm, in the South Coast Moreton
caused sharp stream rises in the Mary, Pine
rivers and other smaller coastal streams. On 19th the Mary River peaked
at Kenilworth and the Pine River peaked at Dayboro.
Rain totals of 50 to 125mm over the Darling Downs caused moderate rises in the Condamine and Balonne river systems. The Condamine River at Condamine peaked on 20th.
|1951||April to May||No significant flooding occurred in Queensland.|
|1951||June||Rains amounting to over 225mm in the period 5th to 9th on the South-east border areas were partly responsible for the sharp flooding of streams in the North-east corner of New South Wales where Rocky Creek diversion dam burst.|
|1951||July to December||No significant flooding occurred in Queensland.|
|1952||January||The 125 to 300mm
rains over the eastern central
highlands and adjacent parts of the South Coast Curtis district caused
sharp stream rises and local flooding in the Dawson,
and Callide rivers and the upper reaches of the Fitzroy
One life was lost at Wowan.
The 250 to 500mm rains in the third week on the tropical coast caused sharp flooding in coastal streams on the north coast and adjacent central coast and freshes in the Burdekin River. Rail traffic was temporarily suspended between Ayr and Townsville by Haughton River floodwaters, and at Halifax the Herbert River reached a height of 2 metres over the railway bridge on 22nd.
Rains in the third week in the Carpentaria caused freshes in the Flinders River at Milgarra where a peak occurred on 29th.
|1952||February||The 100 to 125mm rains of the fourth week over the central coast and central highlands caused freshes in the central coast streams and in the western tributaries of the Fitzroy system. The Nogoa River at Emerald peaked on 27th.|
|1952||March||The heavy 250 to
500mm rains of 17th in the
lower reaches of the Burnett and Mary
rivers caused extensive
low level flooding , some soil erosion and temporary suspension of road
and rail traffic in the coastal belt from Maryborough to Bundaberg.
stream rises were reported in the Burnett and Kolan
In the same rain period, falls of 25 to 75mm in the Maranoa and central highlands caused moderate rises in the Dawson and Nogoa rivers and Bungil Creek ,[ tributary of the Condamine River ]. The Dawson River at Taroom peaked on 22nd. The 125 to 175mm falls on the headwaters of the Maranoa River caused moderate freshes in the Balonne River at St.George on 24th.
On the southern parts of the South Coast Moreton district the heavy 150 to 200mm rains of 22nd and 24th caused extensive low level flooding , temporary traffic dislocation and sharp rises in the Pine , Logan and Nerang rivers.
|1952||April||The 50 to 100mm rains in the Upper Western division at the end of the first week caused freshes in the Leichhardt and Flinders rivers. The 25 to 75mm rainfall totals registered over the Maranoa and Warrego districts during the period 7th to 9th caused moderate freshes in the Balonne River where St George reached a peak height on 15th.|
|1952||May||No significant flooding occurred in Queensland.|
|1952||June||The heavy 125 to 250mm rains in the south-east corner of the State in the middle of the month caused sharp flooding of south coastal roads. Moderate stream rises also resulted in the Macintyre and Condamine rivers. At Goondiwindi the Macintyre reached a peak on 24th.|
|1952||July||No significant flooding occurred in Queensland.|
|1952||August||The 25 to 50mm rains of 13th on the southern Downs caused rises in border streams , the Macintyre River peaking at Goondiwindi on 15th. These streams again carried freshes as a result of 10 to 15mm rains on 19th and 20th. Goondiwindi peaked on 22nd.|
|1952||September||No significant flooding occurred in Queensland.|
|1952||October||The three day
rainfall totals from 4th to 6th
of 75 to 150mm on the eastern Downs caused sharp rises in the Macintyre
and Condamine river systems. During the same period
the 50 to 75mm
rains over the inland parts of South Coast Curtis district and adjacent
parts of the central highlands caused moderate rises in the Dawson
The 35 to 60mm rains on the southern border on 25th followed by 50 to 75mm rains over 26th and 27th on the eastern Downs caused very sharp rises in the headwaters of the Condamine and Macintyre systems. Two lives were lost at a low level traffic bridge near Pittsworth. At Texas ,. the Severn River reached a peak on 25th. At Ranges Bridge , the Condamine River reached a peak on 1st November.
On 29th heavy rain washed out sections of railway line between Charters Towers and Hughenden.
|1952||November||From the October rains on their catchments, the Macintyre River peaked at Goondiwindi on 1st and the Condamine River peaked at Surat on 7th. Variable storms in the Gulf country in the first week resulted in freshes in the lower reaches of the Flinders River and the 50 to 100mm rains in the northern parts of the central lowlands caused moderate rises in the Thomson River at Muttaburra.|
|1952||December||The Calliope River rose sharply after the 250mm rains of 23rd and 24th. Some stock were washed away.|
|1953||January||Prolonged widespread flooding was experienced in all tropical divisions as a result of the heavy rains in the latter half of the month. Traffic dislocation was extensive both on the tropical coast and in the tropical interior. North-western interior and Gulf streams reached high flood levels and sharp flooding occurred in tropical coastal streams on several occasions. The Inkerman railway bridge over the Burdekin River was submerged from 17th to 19th and from 28th to 31st, with the peak occurring on 28th. Flood rains fell in January in all tropical divisions , the central and western interiors and on parts of the south coast.|
|1953||February||In all tropical
divisions where streams were
swollen from the January rains , the follow-up heavy February rains
widespread flooding , extensive traffic dislocation , evacuation of
from low lying areas and considerable property damage.
Similar conditions resulted in low lying parts of the South Coast Moreton and on the southern Downs. The Macintyre River at Goondiwindi reached a near record height on 23rd. Fairly heavy stock losses were reported in the Macintyre basin where aircraft food drops were made for sheep and where rail traffic was still held up at the close of the month. One life was lost in Brisbane.
The Georgina River and other adjacent north-western interior streams reached record flood levels , the township of Urandangie being evacuated for several days. In the western and north-western interior suspension of surface traffic was continuing at many places at the close of the month. On the tropical coast the Inkerman Bridge over the Burdekin River was submerged from 13th to 19th and from 25th to 26th.
|1953||March||The 200 to 400mm rains on the catchments of south coast streams in the fourth week resulted in sharp flooding of low lying areas where traffic was temporarily dislocated. The intensity of rainfall also caused some soil erosion and landslides at a few places.|
|1953||April||Areas that received the greatest benefit were the south western interior ,where local 50 to 75mm rains were reported, and parts of the south coast, where north from Landsborough some heavy 75 to 125mm 48 hour totals were reported on 13th. Some low level but temporary flooding resulted. However , main streams were not greatly affected , except the Kolan River which peaked at Toweran on 12th.|
|1953||May to September||No significant flooding occurred in Queensland.|
|1953||October||The heavy 125 to 275mm rains on the coastal strip between Bundaberg and Gladstone on 26th and 27th caused railway wash-outs south of Gladstone, and temporarily dislocated traffic.|
|1953||November to December||No significant flooding occurred in Queensland.|
|1954||January||During the heavy
rain period of the 15th to
18th , some sharp flooding occurred in the
Maranoa River catchment
and washed away a bridge near Dunkeld. Some temporary traffic
occurred and Mitchell was isolated except by rail.
However major flooding occurred during the rain period which commenced with 125 to 250mm rains on 22nd. Severe flooding in the Isaacs River catchment made roads impassable and eighteen people were reported temporarily marooned near Sarina when the Prospect Creek bridge was well under water. Moderate flooding occurred also in the Dawson , Mackenzie and Pioneer rivers. The Dawson was well over the bridge at Taroom and the Mackenzie well over the bridge at Comet.
Most rivers in the south-western parts of the State were still carrying fairly heavy run-off at the close of the month as a result of these rains in the latter part of the month.
extensive widespread flooding
in all main river systems reached record or near record levels in the Burdekin
, Fitzroy and southern interior streams.
Dislocation of traffic
routes was fairly general , food drops being necessary in the central
At least 10 people lost their lives and hundreds of families had to be
evacuated , particularly in the Rockhampton and Mackay areas. Bridges
swept away at Mitchell , Beaudesert and Ravenswood. The Marion Weir
and the Burdekin River was over the Inkerman Bridge from 5th Feb. to
The flood rains of 8th to 13th caused very high floods in the Fitzroy River system. The second highest heights on record occurred at Boolburra on 15th, Riversleigh on 15th and Rockhampton on 19th. Following the heavy cyclonic rains in the south eastern quarter of the State from 19th to 22nd , the Dawson River at Theodore rose to a record height on 19th.
The Condamine and Warrego river systems rose to near record levels. The Balonne River at St George reached the second highest on record on 20th. The upper reaches of the Condamine River rose very sharply following the torrential over 1000mm rains of 19th and 20th on the south-east border highlands. These rains also caused very sharp flooding in the Logan , Coomera and Nerang river systems.
systems had returned to normal by
the end of the first week of the month. However, sharp rises occurred
the Flinders , Upper Thomson
and Burdekin river systems
at the beginning of the second week following the heavy rains of 5th to
8th in those areas.
At Milgarra the Flinders rose to major levels and the Burdekin was well over the Inkerman Bridge on 10th. The bridge was under water for 14 of the first 16 days of the month. It was reported on the 8th that high levels of water in the Cape River had destroyed five spans of the Cape River rail bridge. Mackay aerodrome was also reported flooded. Moderate run-off occurred in the Lower Thomson River and Cooper Creek at the end of the month. Currareva on Cooper Creek peaked on 28th.
|1954||April||Moderate run-off from the Flinders and Thomson rivers from last months rain caused a sharp rise in Cooper Creek and some traffic disability at Currareva on 1st. The 125 to 250mm rains of the 11th to 14th on the north and central coasts caused sharp freshes in the Burdekin River system and some minor flooding and traffic disability in the upper tributaries of the Isaacs River. Prospect Creek rose over the Prospect Creek bridge on 13th and again on the 19th. Slight run-off was also reported in the upper reaches of the Thomson River. A further rise in the Burdekin River following 50 to 100mm falls on 20th and 21st over the catchment brought levels to just under the rails of the Inkerman Bridge on 22nd.|
|1954||May to June||No significant flooding occurred in Queensland.|
|1954||July||Sharp stream rises , traffic disabilities and flooding occurred in the Dawson , South Coast , Condamine and Balonne river systems. Following 175 to 225mm flood falls over the northern catchments of the Condamine River from 11th to 13th , Miles on Dogwood Creek peaked on 13th , and Surat on the Balonne River peaked on 17th. Both these readings were the second highest on record. Rainfalls of 200 to 250mm in the upper Burnett River and 325 to 450mm in the lower Burnett River from 11th to 13th caused the river to rise to very high levels.|
|1954||August||The heavy rains of 12th and 13th on the headwaters of the Brisbane, Dawson, Condamine and Balonne rivers caused some flooding and traffic disability in the upper reaches of these streams. The Brisbane River peaked at Murrumba on 13th. The Dawson River peaked at Taroom on 14th and Baralaba on 20th. The Condamine River peaked at Condamine on 17th.|
|1954||September||No significant flooding occurred in Queensland.|
|1954||October||General 75 to
150mm rains over the Darling Downs
, Maranoa and South Coast Moreton districts from 16th to 19th caused
flooding in the Condamine and Macintyre
river systems. There
were also sharp rises and moderate flooding in the
Maranoa , Logan
, Nerang and Coomera
The flood on the Condamine River peaked at Pratten on 19th [ second highest on record] , and at Ranges Bridges occurred on 23rd, where traffic was dislocated for 36 hours. Eight aerodromes were closed due to flooding and all black soil roads on the Downs were impassable. Rail traffic to Milmerran , Cecil Plains and Goondiwindi was dislocated.
The crest of the flood had moved slowly downstream and passed Surat, where the peak height was reported at the end of the month . Thunderstorm rains of 25 to 50mm on 28th produced freshes and renewed flooding in the Macintyre River, the peak reaching Goondiwindi on 30th.
October rains over the Darling Downs
followed by thunderstorm rains in November maintained fairly high
in the Condamine and
Macintyre rivers , particularly during
the first half of the month. The peak height at Surat on 1st was the
of heavy run-off from the October rains. This crest moved slowly
and peaked at St George on 4th. Heavy 25 to 75mm rains on the southern
Downs during the 3rd and 4th renewed the flooding in the Macintyre
which was still carrying considerable run-off from the October rains.
resultant sharp rises on 4th , 5th and 6th gave the third flood for
stream in 5 weeks. A peak at Goondiwindi on 6th resulted in moderate
and temporary dislocation of traffic.
Local flooding due to thunderstorms occurred at isolated places throughout Queensland during the month. The following are examples :- Some 30mm at Dayboro on 5th caused a temporary rise in the Pine River . Approximately 100mm in an hour near Surat caused freshes and another peak in the Condamine River on 9th. A severe storm brought 40mm in 15 minutes to Ingham on 10th , flooding shops and business premises. Up to 50mm of rain fell in 90 minutes at Caloundra , flooding a number of houses on 10th.
|1954||December||No significant flooding occurred in Queensland.|
Rockhampton experienced local flooding
on 23rd when storm rains entered some houses and business premises in
towns. Washaways of the railway line at these towns delayed trains for
some hours. Flooding of a general nature was slight , and except for a
fresh in the Burdekin River at Clare on 28th and in
River at Milgarra on 31st , was confined to the inland
streams of southern
Rises were reported in the Balonne , Warrego , Paroo , Bulloo , Barcoo and Thomson rivers during the last week of the month from 25th. The Paroo River peaked at Eulo on 28th and the Bulloo River at Thargomindah was over the bridge by 29th and finally peaked 1st February. The Barcoo River at Isisford was above bridge height from 29th to 31st. Many roads in this area were untrafficable during that period. These were the only serious incidents , no damage being reported.
|1955||February||Heavy rains on
the far north coast during the
first 12 days of the month , when totals up to 1125mm were recorded ,
rail, road and air traffic and culminated in serious flooding of the
lying areas in the Herbert River basin on 12th. The
fringe of these
rains brought stream rises in the northern catchment of the Burdekin
River on 12th , resulting in the river rising over the
However the major flooding occurred during the period from 20th to 28th. This was a result of widespread heavy rains from 20th to 24th when totals of 125 to 300mm were recorded over the South Coast Curtis , the Lower Carpentaria and all central divisions. Local flooding in the Curtis division caused washaways on the main north railway line on 20th ( track wrecked as a result ) and cut the Bruce Highway in many places.
Similar flood rains on the Central Coast on 21st dislocated traffic and isolated towns. Moderate to heavy flooding was reported in all Fitzroy River tributaries , Riverslea peaking on 28th. Moderate flooding in the Burdekin River covered the Inkerman Bridge again on 23rd , the bridge remaining under water up to the end of the month , thus dislocating rail traffic to the north.
The February rains in the Lower Carpentaria have caused increasing stream heights in the eastern Gulf rivers , particularly the Flinders River , where a heavy flood run-off has yet to reach its peak in the lower reaches. The height was still rising at Milgarra on 28th.
The heavy rains in the central interior , particularly the 50 to 125mm on 22nd , resulted in moderate flooding in the Thomson and Barcoo rivers. Roads in most parts of central Queensland were impassable , towns were isolated and air traffic dislocated due to water logged airfields.
The rain influence moved southwards to produce 75 to 175mm totals in the southern interior during 23rd and 24th , causing flooding in the Bulloo , Paroo and Warrego rivers. Houses were evacuated and towns isolated in flood waters that are now surging towards the New South Wales border.
Rainfalls of 50 to 125mm on the western Downs during 25th and 26th brought sharp stream rises and moderate flooding to the Maranoa and Macintyre rivers with a peak height at Goondiwindi on 27th. At the close of the month many streams were still carrying fairly heavy run-off. Peak heights have still to be reached in the lower reaches of the Fitzroy and Flinders rivers as well as in border districts of most southern interior streams.
widespread flooding occurred throughout
practically the whole of the States river systems during the month.
or near record levels were reached in the Burdekin
, Flinders , Thomson and Mary
of road and rail traffic was fairly general , food drops being
in the central interior with homes evacuated and some stock lost.
The first cyclone of the month gave heavy rains over the central interior on 8th and 9th , the Burdekin catchment on 11th and some totals up to 300mm on the far north coast on 15th. These resulted in heavy flooding in the Fitzroy catchment with near record levels at Clive on 11th and Riverslea on 15th. The rains over the central interior brought moderate flooding in all south west rivers and serious flooding in the Thomson and upper Flinders rivers where near record levels were reached. Flooded streams were reported even in the far west of the State particularly in the Diamantina catchment.
Heavy flooding in the Burdekin River submerged the Inkerman Bridge from 23rd February to 29th March. Clare reported a peak ( second highest on record ) on 19th. Sharp flooding of all coastal streams on the central and north coast occurred during 17th to 19th when additional rainfalls of 200 to 500mm were reported. Further north the streams flowing into Princess Charlotte Bay experienced floods which were claimed to be unequalled in the history of the white man.
The second cyclone brought serious floods to the South Coast Moreton from 27th to 30th. Rainfalls of 250 to 500mm over the Mary Valley resulted in the worst floods experienced there this century. A peak at Gympie on 28th was the highest since 1898 , and flooded the main street of Gympie to a depth of some 3 metres. Houses were washed away, crops were severely damaged , and as yet the full damage has not been assessed. Peak heights at Tairo and Maryborough were the second highest on record . This was below the disastrous 1893 flood.
Serious flooding was also reported in the upper Brisbane River , as well as the small coastal streams north of Brisbane , namely the Pine and Maroochy rivers , as a result of 125 to 375mm rains on 27th. Flood heights in the Brisbane River were generally the highest since 1931 , resulting in moderate flooding in the lower Brisbane catchment on 29th and 30th. One life was lost. The Port Office gauge at Brisbane peaked at 3am on 30th , resulting in flooding of some low lying suburbs. The western edge of the cyclonic rains caused sharp rises in the upper Condamine River.
|1955||April||As a result of the widespread March rains, the lower sections of most inland streams were still carrying a considerable volume of water during April. The Balonne River peaked at St George on 13th and the Diamantina River peaked at Birdsville on 14th. Rainfalls of 50 to 100mm over the head waters of the Warrego River on the 9th caused slight flooding in that stream. The peaks were experienced at Charleville on 11th , Wyandra on 13th and Cunnamulla on 15th. Sharp flooding occurred over south-east districts at the end of the month as a result of 100 to 250mm rains on 29th and 30th. Low level flooding was experienced in the Burnett , Mary , Brisbane and Condamine rivers as well as all minor streams between Bundaberg and the border. Traffic disabilities were fairly general and two lives were lost.|
|1955||May||The rains over
south-east districts at the end
of April caused slight flooding in the Mary and Brisbane
rivers , with peak heights in the lower reaches on 1st and 2nd , and a
fresh in the Warrego River from 2nd to 6th. Local
rainfalls of 50
to 175mm over the headwaters of the Mary River caused minor flooding in
the upper reaches on 12th and 13th.
Widespread flooding occurred at the end of the month as a result of State wide unseasonable rains from 23rd to 26th , when a number of river systems reported record floods for May. All communications were disrupted , 13 airfields were closed , two lives were lost and stock losses were high , particularly along the Thomson River. Totals up to 800mm in 3 days were reported on parts of the central coast , mainly in the Pioneer River catchment , with extensive low level flooding necessitating the evacuation of a large number of homes.
The general 100 to 250mm rains over the centre of the State caused moderate flooding in the Flinders , Diamantina , Barcoo and Fitzroy rivers , as well as the lower Burdekin River where the Inkerman rail bridge was submerged for 2 days. The unseasonable nature of the rains caught graziers with stock near the rivers and widespread losses resulted , particularly on the Thomson River, which experienced record flooding. Peak heights at Longreach and Jundah were the highest ever recorded for any month. Boats were used to evacuate 50 families at Longreach and food drops were necessary.
Near record floods also occurred in the Dawson River where Theodore reported the second highest flood on record. Streams in southern districts caused some traffic disabilities but generally only suffered minor flooding. At the close of the month the flood peaks were still to be experienced in the lower reaches of Cooper Creek , Fitzroy , Balonne and Warrego rivers.
|1955||June||During the first half of the month most streams were carrying considerable flood run-off as a result of the record rains near the end of May. The worst flooding was experienced along the Thomson River , where peaks at Jundah on 1st and at Currareva [ near Windorah ] on 4th were the highest on record , resulting in heavy stock losses. Moderate flooding occurred in the lower reaches of the Fitzroy , Flinders , Condamine and Warrego rivers ,causing traffic disabilities, mostly in the first week of the month.|
|1955||July||Near record rains in the western border districts produced a moderate rise in the Georgina River , which could not be crossed at the end of the month. A fresh in the Dawson River persisted from 16th to 25th.|
|1955||August to December||No significant flooding occurred in Queensland.|
|1956||January||From 16th to
19th flooding was reported in western
Peninsula streams , mainly the Gilbert , Norman
rivers. Practically state-wide rains resulted in flooding of most
during the last 10 days of the month , when moderate flooding was
in the Fitzroy , Kolan , Burnett
and upper Brisbane
rivers , and freshes occurred in other south coast streams. Slight
was also reported in the Flinders ,
Thomson and Belyando
However all these floods were insignificant compared to that on the Darling Downs , where unprecedented floods were experienced in the Condamine and Macintyre rivers. Heavy rain [ e.g. Inglewood 275mm in 16 hours , Leyburn 150mm in 4 hours ] gave general 250 to 325mm falls over the central Downs for the 72 hours ending 0900 23rd. Record river levels were reported at Goondiwindi on 22nd , Riverton on 21st , Ranges Bridge on 22nd , Miles on 22nd , Tummaville on 22nd and Inglewood on 22nd. Macintyre Brook at Inglewood rose more than 3 metres above the level previously thought by engineers to be the flood extreme.
Near record flooding was also reported at Condamine , Texas and Surat with a large volume of water moving downstream into New South Wales. The most devastated area was in the Inglewood-Yelarbon region , where the multi-million dollar tobacco crop was almost completely destroyed and damage to homes was estimated at around half a million dollars in Inglewood alone [population 1100]. Traffic and communications were dislocated generally , bridges and railway lines washed away , and stock losses were heavy.
practically state-wide during the
month , the worst affected areas being in south-east Queensland. The Flinders
and Burdekin rivers reported only moderate flooding
, although the
main rail link to the north across the Inkerman Bridge was cut from 9th
High flood levels were reached in the lower Fitzroy River at Riverslea on 20th and Rockhampton on 23rd , following serious floods in the Dawson and Nogoa catchments. On the Dawson River , Theodore reached a record height on 14th and Taroom recorded the highest level since 1890 on 11th.
Moderate flooding was reported in all inland streams draining from the central Highlands. These included the Thomson , Barcoo , Warrego , Bulloo and Paroo rivers and high levels were maintained for the greater part of the month.
The catchment areas of the Condamine and Macintyre rivers , where streams were still in a swollen state from the record January floods , experienced a succession of flood rains. Highland districts received up to 750mm in 3 weeks , completely waterlogging the country and resulting in 100% run-off. Three floods in the Macintyre catchment gave peak heights at Goondiwindi on 7th , 11th and 20th. This last reading , and a peak at Texas on 19th , broke all existing records , but resulted from only 25 to 100mm of rain over the catchment. The succession of 4 major floods in 4 weeks [including the January flood] , was also a record. Roads and bridges were severely damaged , and a 50 metre gap torn in the bank of the Bonshaw Weir. Food drops were made necessary due to a general breakdown of transport. The repeated flood rains have maintained very high levels in the Balonne and Barwon rivers for the whole month and towns are still isolated.
Rapid serious flooding occurred on the South Coast hinterland between Brisbane and the N.S.W. border when a rain depression gave totals up to 400mm in border districts for the 18th and 19th. Landslides blocked roads and bridges were washed away , resulting in the worst damage this area has experienced since the February 1954 cyclone.
cyclone resulted in serious flooding
in eastern Carpentaria on 6th and 7th , when the upper reaches of the Gilbert
, Mitchell and Burdekin rivers
rose rapidly to record levels.
The Etheridge River at Georgetown rose 6 metres in
4 hours and the
Burdekin River at Sellheim rose 11 metres overnight on 6th. Traffic
was general and bridges were washed away. Large proportions of the
were evacuated from Georgetown and Gilberton , and 4 lives were lost.
also occurred in the
Herbert River , and the lower Burdekin River
where the Inkerman rail bridge was submerged from 8th to 14th.
Heavy coastal rains gave moderate flooding in the Mary , Burnett and Kolan catchments from 7th to 14th . Gympie , on the Mary River , recorded a peak on the 12th. On the Kolan River , Monduran reported a record height on 11th.
Sustained flooding , but not of a serious nature , was reported throughout the month in the Fitzroy River system and all southern interior streams. The heavy run-off from the February floods on the Darling Downs maintained high levels in the Balonne River for the whole month.
Heavy rains on the tropical coast at the end of the month gave further floods to the Herbert and Burdekin rivers and reached serious proportions in the Pioneer catchment on 31st. Four spans of the high level rail bridge at Mirani were washed away when the river rose 15 metres and flood waters inundated parts of Mackay.
|1956||April||Heavy rains over
western and south-western districts
at the end of March caused heavy flooding in all south-west rivers from
the Maranoa and lower Balonne
rivers to Cooper Creek
in the first half of the month. The floods reached serious proportions
Warrego River , where flood peaks were
generally the highest
this century. Charleville peaked on 3rd [ highest on record ] , Wyandra
peaked on 4th [ highest since 1910 ] , and Cunnamulla peaked on 7th [
since 1890 ].The evacuation of some homes was necessary , towns were
and stock losses reported.
The March rains also affected the far west where the Diamantina and lower Georgina rivers experienced sustained flooding. In tropical divisions , some flooding was reported on the lower Burdekin River , covering the Inkerman rail bridge from 1st to 4th , and moderate flooding in the Fitzroy catchment. Floodwaters in most streams had subsided by the middle of the month.
|1956||May||Heavy rain over
the south-east corner of the
State on 1st caused sharp flooding. The Laidley and Dunande areas in
Brisbane Valley were inundated , 40 people being evacuated , and
streams south of Brisbane caused traffic disruptions.
Sharp stream rises were reported in the upper Condamine River , with sustained flooding in the lower Balonne and Moonie rivers. All other south western rivers were carrying floodwaters following the prolonged wet season. Slight flooding was also reported in the Fitzroy and Burdekin catchments.
|1956||June||Rain totals of
50 to 100mm over the Darling
Downs on 23rd and 24th caused serious flooding in the Dumaresq
lower Macintyre rivers. Goondiwindi peaked at near
on 27th. A number of residents were evacuated from homes in this town ,
which experienced its fifth major flood this year. Flooding in the Condamine
and Moonie rivers was less serious but traffic
, large areas on the lower Balonne River were
isolated , and one
life was reported lost.
Widespread rains at this time also caused slight flooding in the Fitzroy , Mary , Burnett and Brisbane catchments , with minor traffic disruptions. Southern parts of the South Coast Moreton district experienced local flooding when Tallebudgera recorded 385mm in 24 hours to 0900 25th.
|1956||July||This months rain
maintained high levels in most
streams. Slight to moderate flooding was reported in the
, Fitzroy , Condamine , Macintyre
rivers , mainly during the first half of the month. Unseasonable rains
in tropical districts caused the unprecedented July blocking of the
Bridge on 8th and 9th.
Continued wet weather over southern inland districts has maintained high levels in all south-western rivers. The Warrego River was reported to be 13 kilometres wide at Cunnamulla. A number of stations on the Warrego , Bulloo and Paroo rivers reported the highest July levels on record. Drier weather in the second half of the month in these areas is at last allowing streams to subside.
|1956||August to November||No significant flooding occurred in Queensland.|
heavy rains of 21st and 22nd caused
rapid flooding in south coast streams. The Dawson River
and Warrill creeks reached peaks on 22nd . The
Mary and Burnett
rivers reached peaks mainly on 23rd and 24th. These streams then
rapidly after causing traffic delays of only 48 hours.
The central and north-west interior rivers were also flooded. The Nogoa River peaked at Emerald on 25th. A railway washaway occurred near Alpha. The Fitzroy River was still carrying heavy flood run-off and was still delaying traffic at the end of the month. Riverslea peaked on 26th, fell till 20th and peaked again on 31st. Near Gayndah on 24th , a man was reported drowned in the flooded Burnett River.
|1957||January||Heavy rain on
the far north coast during the
first 3 days of the month resulted in moderate flooding of the short
rivers , as well as local flooding of buildings , mainly in Cooktown
Cairns. The Herbert River reached a peak at Ingham
The December flood on the Fitzroy catchment peaked in the lower reaches on 3rd and 4th without any serious dislocation of traffic , whilst the December flood in the Condamine catchment maintained high levels in the Balonne River during the first half of the month.
General heavy rains over the eastern tropics from 8th to 10th caused flooding in the Burdekin , Thomson and eastern Gulf rivers with widespread dislocation of traffic. The sustained moderate flooding on the Thomson River caused evacuation of homes at Muttaburra , where a peak occurred on 12th.
Local flooding was reported on the central coast between Sarina and Townsville on 29th with sharp rises in the short coastal streams. Heavy rains in the upper western districts on 28th and 29th caused washaways on the Cloncurry to Mt.Isa railway line , as well as the heaviest flooding in the Burke River for 20 years. These rains extended into parts of the lower western area causing floods in the Diamantina and Georgina rivers.
|1957||February||Except for the
far west , flooding was insignificant
during the month and well below normal. Heavy rains in the north-west
the State at the end of January caused considerable flooding in western
border streams namely Diamantina , Burke
rivers , which have maintained high levels throughout the month. The
crest approached the South Australia border at the end of the month
Birdsville still rising on 28th.
Moderate levels were also maintained in the Gulf streams for the first half of the month. Heavy rain on the far north coast on 3rd , with some 250mm totals , caused local flooding with traffic disabilities as well as slight flooding in the Herbert River. The only other stream rises reported were due to freshes in the Burdekin catchment from 4th to 6th , and in the north-east parts of the Fitzroy catchment on 25th.
floods in western border areas
affected the lower reaches of Eyre Creek and the Diamantina
during the first half of the month. Birdsville peaked on 5th.
Heavy rains in the Carpentaria districts gave sharp rises in the upper reaches of the Gilbert River on 14th , and moderate levels in the Flinders River were maintained for the greater part of the month.
Very heavy rain on the far north coast from 26th to 28th caused a sharp flood in the Barron River , inundating hundred of acres of sugar cane. Local flooding, particularly in the Cooktown area , disrupted road and air services. Floodwaters caused local damage to ships and homes , and for a time Cooktown was isolated. The State generally experienced well below the normal amount of flooding during the month , all the major catchments being in fairly dry condition.
|1957||April||The only flooding reported was in western Peninsula streams on 11th.|
|1957||May to December||No significant flooding occurred in Queensland.|
|1958||January||Slight freshes due to thunderstorms were reported in the Bulloo River on 7th and the Moonie River on 31st.|
|1958||February||Rainfalls of up
to 175mm on 1st flooded creeks
and cut roads in the Gladstone-Calliope-Miriam Vale district. The Boyne
River cut the main highway south of Gladstone and slight
reported in the Kolan River.
Phenomenal rainfall on the Central Coast from 16th to 20th produced disastrous flooding, the most devastated areas being centred around Mackay. The short coastal streams between Mackay and Bowen reported record floods, with the Pioneer River at Mirani reaching a peak at 0500 on 18th. This level exceeded the height recorded in the Mackay cyclone of January 1918 and the previous record established in 1884.
Three lives were lost in the Mackay area ,at least 20 homes and a hall were washed away , dozens of cars were overturned and filled with sand , and debris from wrecked buildings was scattered for about 1 kilometre. Many bridge , including the temporary rail bridge at Mirani , were washed away. Damage in Mackay will be extremely costly and considerable delay in the repair of roads, bridges and railway lines is anticipated. A hole 5 metre deep was gouged in one street, a 1 kilometre stretch of railway line washed away and the whole city covered under a blanket of mud.
After being inundated for 12 hours, Foulden [population 250] was completely destroyed and property owners lost all their possessions. All houses were totally wrecked, three being washed out to sea. Most of the population sought refuse on the roofs of their homes, only to find them being washed away and many narrow escapes from drowning were reported. The flood left great depths of silt which completely covered the town by up to 3 metres. In places only the tops of telephone poles were showing. All communications were cut and cane crops were destroyed.
Flooding at Finch Hatton , where 865mm of rain was reported in 24 hours , also reached disastrous proportions , wrecking the main street , washing away one home and damaging two hotels and a service station. Record floods in the O'Connell River washed away bridges at Elaroo and Bloomsbury whilst at Giru 1 metre of water flowed through the town.
Traffic disabilities were widespread and communications were badly disrupted. In some areas these are still not restored and the full flood picture is not yet available. The main northern railway line was washed away at several places, many travellers were stranded and food shortages were reported in some of the isolated towns.
In the Burdekin River catchment, record floods were reported in the Cape, Suttor and Sellheim rivers, even higher than the 1918 floods. Some 90 years old stations were under water for the first time. At Lornesleigh the water reached to the second floor of the station homestead, whilst seven people were marooned on a hilltop for 11 days at Mt Elsie station. Near record flooding in the lower Burdekin caused the evacuation of parts of Ayr and Home Hill. The peak at Clare was at 0730 on 24th and at Inkerman Bridge at 1600 on 24th
In northern parts of the Thomson River catchment, severe flooding was reported in Torrens and Cornish creeks, the former being 50 metres wide at Torrens Creek site for 33 hours. Thirty shearers and stockmen were isolated 150 kilometres north of Aramac.
Heavy flooding, but no great damage, was experienced in northern parts of the Fitzroy River catchment, particularly in Funnel and Denison creeks and Connors River. Peaks were reached at Waitara on Funnel Creek on 18th, at Deverill on the Isaacs River on 21st and at Valeria on Theresa Creek on 23rd. The remainder of the Fitzroy basin reported moderate flood heights. A high flood was reported in the Einasleigh River at this time, but in the Herbert, Flinders , Kolan , Burnett and Mary rivers flooding was only slight.
|1958||March||During the first
week of the month the lower
reaches of the Burdekin and Fitzroy
rivers were carrying
considerable flood run-off as a result of record February rainfall.
flooding was reported on the south-west Downs on 11th and 12th when
Creek at Limevale reached a record height after 125mm of rain
in the headwaters. Water flowed 2 metres deep through the main street
the town and 4 women and 8 children were evacuated to a nearby hill.
flooding was reported in the Macintyre River where
a peak on 14th. In the Balonne River a fresh was
reported from 12th
The heavy rain depression of 27th to 31st caused widespread dislocation of traffic in the far north coast and Peninsula region. The Herbert River at North Gairloch peaked on 30th , and the swollen Barron River damaged a bridge at Mareeba and washed two cars out to sea near Cairns. Many travellers were stranded at Cairns where water was backed up by high tides to swamp many yards.
Flooding in the Haughton River blocked the rail bridge at Giru and a goods train was derailed near Townsville , whilst some flooding was also reported in the upper reaches of the Burdekin River.
Heavy rain in the Gulf Country caused local flooding as well as widespread dislocation of traffic throughout the lower Carpentaria district. In 24 hours to 0900 29th , Normanton recorded 295mm and falls of 375mm in the Normanton district were reported. The Georgina , Burke and Gregory rivers were reported in flood and sharp rises affected the upper reaches of the Diamantina and Thomson rivers. Floodwaters 2 metres deep inundated lower parts of Winton where some families were evacuated. Waters from the Georgina , Burke and Diamantina rivers should give some valuable flooding in the parched channel country over the next few weeks.
dislocation of traffic and communications
was reported on the central coast as a result of flooding in the wake
the Bowen cyclone. Record peaks occurred in the Bowen River
and in the Bogie River on 3rd. Some homesteads were
and their occupants isolated , roads and bridges extensively damaged ,
and thousands of cattle lost.
Subsequent flooding of the lower Burdekin River also broke all records. Goods were damaged when Home Hill and Ayr were inundated , the water being 2 metres deep in the main street of Home Hill at one time. Many cane farms were seriously damaged , three spans of the old railway bridge at Home Hill were washed away and approaches to the new high level bridge cut. Restoration of river banks on the Burdekin is expected to be costly. Record peaks were on the Bowen River at Birralee on 3rd , and on the Burdekin River at Dalbeg on 3rd , at Strathalbyn on 3rd and Home Hill [Inkerman Bridge] on 3rd.
Torrential rain caused record floods in other southern tributaries of the Burdekin on 6th. Heights on the Suttor River reached 3 to 4.5 metres above the levels thought by local inhabitants to be the flood extreme. Unofficial rain gauges recorded as much as 500mm in 10 hours and the river was 35 kilometres wide in places. Homesteads which had never before been affected by floodwaters were almost submerged and some were carried away. Bridges were destroyed and roads damaged by scouring up to 5 metres deep. The Pioneer River was also in high flood on 2nd and 3rd , causing the evacuation of 60 homes at Mackay.
Heavy flooding was reported in the Mackenzie River and lower reaches of the Fitzroy River as a result of near record river heights in the northern tributaries , notably Funnel Creek and the Connors and Isaacs rivers. On 3rd , Funnel Creek at Saltbush Park reached the highest reading for 40 years , whilst Royles on the Mackenzie River reported a record height at 1100 on 6th. Near record levels were recorded at other stations in the northern catchments of the Fitzroy basin. Peak heights in the lower reaches occurred at Riverslea on 10th , at Yaamba on 12th and at Rockhampton on 13th. Some low lying yards in Rockhampton were I metre under water and traffic around the city was disrupted.
Slight flooding was reported in the Herbert and Flinders rivers at this time , and the Cloncurry River at Cloncurry peaked on 2nd. Two slight floods were also reported in the Mary River from 1st to 5th and 13th to 16th , but these mainly affected eastern parts of the catchment.
|1958||May||No significant flooding occurred in Queensland.|
caused slight rises in the Bulloo
River on 4th and 5th. The general rains over the south-east
State from 8th to 11th caused flooding of most streams , but in no
did it reach serious proportions. Many highways were blocked by swollen
creeks and rivers , and a number of aerodromes closed due to
Bridges were submerged in one of the highest June floods on record for
the Mary River. Parts of Gympie were evacuated when
the water peaked
on 11th. A moderate fresh in the Brisbane and
from 9th to 13th affected mainly the upper reaches , with peaks at
on 11th and Vernors on 12th.
At Springbrook 475mm of rain fell in 4 days , resulting in sharp rises in the Nerang River , but no damage was reported. A considerable volume of water also affected the other short coastal streams , notably the Maroochy and Pine rivers.
Slight flooding was reported in the middle reaches of the Condamine River from 11th to 17th , with the lower areas of Dalby being evacuated when Myall Creek flooded. Resultant stream rises were sustained in the Balonne River for another week with peaks at Surat on 16th and St George on 22nd. The Moonie River also carried some run-off from 11th to 17th with a peak at Thallon on 16th. A fresh in the Dawson River affected river levels from 10th to 13th.
|1958||July to October||No significant flooding occurred in Queensland.|
|1958||November||The only stream rise reported was a fresh in the Bulloo River on 25th and 26th.|
|1958||December||No significant flooding occurred in Queensland.|
Dawson River from
1st to 8th was followed by sharp flooding in north-eastern parts of the
Fitzroy catchment from 11th to 13th and 26th
to 28th. Both of these
flood periods were associated with considerable traffic disabilities on
the main northern highway.
Moderate flooding occurred in western parts of the Fitzroy basin from 27th to 30th with Teresa Creek peaking at Valeria on 30th. Slight flooding was reported along the Macintyre , Moonie and Balonne rivers from 25th to 31st with a peak at Goondiwindi on 25th. A fresh was reported in the Mary and Burnett rivers from 23rd to 25th.
The Gulf cyclone and rain depression was responsible for moderate flooding in the northern half of the Burdekin catchment from 12th to 17th. These floodwaters affected the lower Burdekin until 19th. Peak heights were recorded at Sellheim on 16th and Clare on 17th. Slight flooding was reported in the lower Herbert River on 15th and 16th and a high flood affected the Palmer River. Although no reports were received it is assumed that most western Peninsula streams were in flood at this time.
Slight flooding with traffic disabilities was reported in the Warrego , Bulloo and Paroo rivers from 28th to 31st. In addition to the above , local flooding was reported from many centres as a result of heavy storm rains.
|1959||February||Floods in the
wake of the February cyclone caused
widespread dislocation of road , rail and air traffic over a great part
of the Central Coast , Highlands , South Coast and Darling Downs
, mainly from 17th and 20th. Many bridges were washed away , stock were
lost in some of the rapid headwaters flooding , and in a few instances
towns were severely damaged.
Moderate flooding affected the lower Burdekin River on 17th and 18th but in the Pioneer River basin sharp flooding caused the evacuation of 200 people from Mackay and the loss of bridges at Finch Hatton and Mirani ,with a peak at Mirani on 17th.
The whole of the Fitzroy catchment experienced moderate flooding which commenced on 17th and moved to the lower reaches by the end of the month. Peaks on the Mackenzie River were St. Aubins on 18th and Royles on 21st . Peaks on the Dawson River were at Taroom on 19th and Theodore on 24th . Peaks on the Fitzroy River were at Riverslea on 24th and Rockhampton on 27th. A new bridge was swept away on the Duaringa - Springsure highway at Mimosa Creek.
Two hundred sheep were lost in the severe flood on Capella Creek , and many Clermont families were evacuated when Sandy Creek became a 500 metre wide torrent after 275mm of rain within 12 hours in the surrounding area. Clermont was isolated in flooding which was described as the worst since the 1916 disaster. In the lower Fitzroy River , water entered low lying yards in parts of Rockhampton at the peak of the flood.
Only slight flooding was reported in the Kolan , Burnett and Mary rivers , but following 150 to 250mm rains , severe floods affected the headwaters region of the Condamine River and south western parts of the Brisbane catchment. Laidley experienced the worst flood in its history on 18th , when Laidley Creek was 2 kilometres wide and approximately 0.4 metres higher than the 1893 flood. Very rapid flooding inundated the main business centre and 50 shops had up to 2.5 metres of water in them , resulting in high cost damage to shop fittings and machinery. Only a few houses in the town were above the flood , more than 200 families were evacuated and 50 people rescued from roof tops.
Following 235mm at the Head ,[ mostly overnight rain ], the Condamine River reached a width of 3 kilometres at Killarney. Water reached a height of 3 metres in the business section of the town , the highest in memory. Two bridges were swept away and the total damage cost in the town was very high. Allora reported its biggest flood for 50 years , bridges were damaged , people evacuated from homes and kilometres of fencing washed away. The flood crest flattened as it moved down the Condamine and Balonne rivers , giving mostly moderate flooding. Peaks reported were Warwick on 18th , Tummaville on 20th , Ranges Bridge on 20th , St. George on 24th and Dirranbandi on 27th.
Slight flooding with little damage was reported in the Macintyre , Moonie , Maranoa and Warrego rivers at this time. At the end of the month 350 to 450mm rains in 24 hours caused much local flooding in the far north coast with considerable traffic disabilities between Townsville and Cairns.
flood run-off in the Condamine
River during February maintained high levels and traffic
in the Balonne River , mostly in the first week of
the month. Peak
heights were at Dirranbandi from 1st to 2nd and at Hebel on 9th and
The lower Dawson and Fitzroy rivers experienced moderate flood run-off from the February rains during the first 3 days of the month , whilst a fresh affected the middle reaches of the Dawson River from 19th to 21st , mainly as a result of flash flooding in Castle Creek.
Torrential rain produced local flooding on the far north coast on 5th. Combined with a high tide , Cairns experienced its worst local flooding for 25 years , with water flooding many shops and debris blocking the city water supply lines.
Further heavy rain on the far north coast from 12th to 14th caused traffic disabilities , damaged bridges and marooned farmers. Slight flooding in the Herbert River resulted in a peak at North Gairloch [ Ingham ] on 13th. Moderate rainfall caused some rises in north-western rivers , notably the Cloncurry and Georgina rivers on 14th .Two men were drowned at the time by local floodwaters , one at Mt.Isa and the other near Herberton.
Local flooding was reported on the Gold Coast on 19th , water flooding Lennons Broadbeach Hotel and shops at Surfers Paradise and Burleigh Heads. Heavy rain at the end of the month produced further local flooding in the Moreton district with freshes in the Pine , Stanley and Mary rivers from 28th to 30th. A storm giving 110mm in 90 minutes near Miva in the Mary catchment caused much damage to roads in the area.
|1959||April||Many 75 to 150mm rainfalls over south-western parts of the Central Highlands and Lowlands districts on 1st resulted in a moderate flood run-off in all south-western rivers. Floodwaters reached a peak in the Barcoo River at Blackall on 14th , and downstream in Cooper Creek a peak was reported at Currareva [ near Windorah ] on 12th. Slight flooding was reported in the Warrego , Paroo and Bulloo rivers during the first 12 days of the month. The Warrego peaked at Cunnamulla on 10th.|
|1959||May||Heavy rain in central western areas from 20th to 25th produced a moderate flow in south-western rivers , which were still rising at the end of the month.|
|1959||June||Western rivers continued to carry a moderate body of water following the heavy rain over catchment areas in May.|
|1959||July||A fresh in the Macintyre River was reported on 25th , as a result of rainfalls over the catchment area from the rain depression of 20th.|
|1959||August to September||No significant flooding occurred in Queensland.|
|1959||October||Heavy rain , during thunderstorms on 13th in a narrow belt from the Gold Coast to south of Kingaroy , caused local flash flooding. Some damage to vegetable crops was reported in the Strathpine and Kallangur district. Localised flooding on the near north coast , resulting from the heavy rain on 16th and 17th , cut the Bruce Highway for a short period. Six Mile Creek at Cooran peaked on 17th. Surfers Paradise experienced slight damage from flash flooding on 20th.|
|1959||November||Following 25 to
50mm rains at the end of the
October , freshes were reported in the upper Brisbane
rivers on 1st.
General rains from 9th to 13th , with totals of 150 to 250mm in the southern Moreton district and 50 to 175mm on the Darling Downs , resulted in widespread flooding in south eastern districts. In most catchments flooding was slight , but a few areas of local severe flooding were reported. Road , rail and air traffic was disrupted and landslides were reported on the western highway to Toowoomba. It is anticipated that the Downs wheat and barley crops will be reduced by as much as 1.5 million bushells and overall crop losses will be very costly.
The worst of the local flooding occurred in the following areas :
Jandowae - Warra on the northern Downs. Rainfalls between 150 to 175mm were reported to the east of Jandowae in the 24 hours to 0900 11th. Floodwaters ruined many wheat and barley crops and caused the evacuation of 20 homes at Jandowae.
Laidley. Local severe flooding resulted in 1 metre of water in some streets of Laidley , flooding business premises. Hundreds of acres of small crops were inundated in the Lockyer Valley with damage proving very costly.
Marburg. Heavy flood run-off damaged three bridges , destroyed a garage and covered the western highway to in excess of 1 metre of water.
General light flooding was reported in the Brisbane , Condamine , Mary and south Burnett rivers , as well as the smaller South Coast streams from 11th to 17th. Flood run-off continued in the lower Condamine and Balonne during the remainder of the month. Peaks occurred on the Brisbane River at Murrumba on 14th and Mt.Crosby on 15th , on the Condamine at Warwick on 14th and Ranges Bridge on 19th , on the Balonne River at Surat on 21st , and on the Mary River at Kenilworth on 13th , Gympie on 14th and Tiaro on 16th.
|1959||December||With ample soil
moisture and high rates of run-off
in south-east districts , thunderstorm rains produced freshes in the Brisbane
River on 2nd and 23rd , the upper Condamine River
on 8th and
20th , the Burnett River on 23rd to 26th , and the Macintyre
River on 8th to 11th and 18th to 31st with a peak at
21st. On 25th minor flooding was reported around Gladstone , with water
entering some shops.
Between 26th to 29th , moderate flooding was reported in western Peninsula streams , particularly the Mitchell and Walsh rivers , as a result of cyclonic rains. Many 24 hour totals exceeded 100mm and flood waters entered some station homesteads. Disruption of traffic and communications was widespread. Minor flooding was reported in the Herbert and Burdekin rivers at this time.
Updated November 2010.