QUEENSLAND FLOOD SUMMARY: PRE-1860
Extracts from: Results of Rainfall Observations made in Queensland, H.A. Hunt, Commonwealth Meteorologist, 1914.
17th January: Highest flood on record, occurred at Brisbane and Ipswich.
10th January: Heavy floods at Ipswich.
17th December: Flood at Ipswich.
11th April: Heavy floods at Brisbane and Ipswich.
19th and 20th May: Great floods at Ipswich and Brisbane; river at Ipswich rose 45 feet, and at Brisbane 12 feet.
May: A correspondent of the Brisbane Courier furnished the following information on 29th June, 1907, regarding the flood in the Brisbane River during May, 1857:-
The flood of 1857 was the result of eight weeks' continuous but not heavy, rain. There had been a strong fresh in the river for several weeks, and during a portion of this time time all vehicular traffic between North and South Brisbane was suspended, as the horse-punt at Russell-street was unable to cross on account of the strong current. At Ipswich the river rose 45 feet, and waterside stores were submerged to the roof; in the Brisbane reaches, however, the flood waters did not rise more than 7 feet above ordinary springs. Rowing boats were plying in Margaret, Mary, and Charlotte streets, but except near Edward and George streets there were few houses in the streets named. There were only a couple of houses in Albert-street between Charlotte and Alice streets, and the whole of the low-lying ground from Elizabeth Street to the river was a muddy lake. At South Brisbane one could stand on a hill at Cordelia-street near Boundary-street and see an unbroken sheet of water stretching from Melbourne-street to Tribune-street. Stanley-street was submerged from Walmsley-street to within 100 yards of the present dry dock. A good deal of the land at Hill-end was submerged, as was also the land on the opposite side of the river, now known as St. Lucia, and which was then a dense vine scrub. Most of the scrub lands at Oxley were also under water, as was Montague-road from Stanley-street to the present West-end Reserve."
Extract from Brisbane Courier, 13th June, 1857:
"We have been informed that the head station of Mr. F. North and the public house belonging to Mr. J. Smith at Wivenhoe, on the Upper Brisbane, were completely inundated during the recent flood, and people were compelled to take refuge in tents. The people at Balfour station were also washed out."
7th October: Flood at Ipswich.
Updated November 2010.