Floodwaters surround the Central Queensland Meat Export Company works at Lakes Creek during the 1918 Fitzroy River flood.
Floodwaters surround the Central Queensland Meat Export Company works at Lakes Creek during the 1918 Fitzroy River flood.

Lake's Creek Meat Works devastated (1918)

Wednesday 6th February 1918

WITH the exception of the general office, all departments in connection with the meat works of the Central Queensland Meat Export Company are flooded. Members of the office staff who reside in the city are taken to and fro by motor boat each day and disembarked at this end about twenty yards from the back steps of the general office.

The works present a most appalling sight. Boats are kept continually on the move in and out of the departments to see that nothing afloat breaks loose and is carried downstream. Nothing more than that can be done owing to the depth of the water. In the box factory the water almost totally submerges the planning, branding, and both nailing machines. Timber from the riverside of this building has been washed away. Many of the box timber stacks in the timber-shed and nearby collapsed, but have been secured by ropes. ...

Right opposite the works office stand the preserving dressing rooms with only the roof showing. All that is to be seen of the can making machines in the can factory are the driving wheels and just the top of the joker machine. The surface of the water in places is covered with floating cans, as is the case in the factory store room. The counters in the general store are covered. In the kerosene store hundreds of cases of kerosene are afloat. Of the numerous machines in the fitting shop, only the tops of the steam hammer and punching machines are visible.

The engine room is in a deplorable state, the water almost covering the three freezing engines. ... A tremendous amount of work has been done on the electric generators, which would have suffered severely had not the armatures and other vital parts been raised from time to time as the flood rose higher.

The motor generator was similarly treated. ... The slaughter house, cattle yards, and casing departments are all inundated, the water being level with the top of the door handle of the slaughter house office. In the tallow shed and skin shed all the casks of tallow are floating, but every precaution is being taken to prevent them from breaking loose. ... Water hyacinth brought down by the flood has lodged in many of the departments, where it is now flowering.



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