Reports of theft and quarrelling as levels get lower (1918)
Saturday 16th February 1918
FITZROY STILL FALLING SLOWLY
THE Fitzroy River has been dropping slowly all the week, maintaining almost the same rate right through, and last night it was about 26 ft. above the level of low water of ordinary spring tides - which was practically the mark it stood at when the cyclonic storm struck Rockhampton on the 20th of January.
The river at Yaamba at six o'clock last evening was 37 ft. 10 in. above summer level, or nearly 20 ft. below the maximum height it reached this year.
About 100 claims have been received at the office of the Relief Committee at the School of Arts.
These are principally for the restoration of homes to their former condition and for losses of furniture, stock, fowls, and ducks.
All the male refugees, with the exception of the old-age pensioners, yesterday received notice to quit the Soldiers' Rest and Recreation Rooms.
The behaviour of some of those who sought shelter there has caused considerable worry to the ladies in charge.
The quarrels and the petty thieving, combined with the suspicion that many of the cases were undeserving, no doubt prompted this course of action.
The women and children who took shelter in St. Paul's School-room were the first affected by the flood.
In consequence, only a small number of those who found lodging-room there have returned to their homes.
It is expected, however, that few will need to remain there after the middle of next week. Mrs. Emily Bell, Emu Park, has contributed 5 pounds 5 shillings for clothing for the inmates of the school-room, and Mrs. T.W. Kingel was yesterday busily engaged in making clothes from material purchased with the money.
The gas supply, which has been stopped since the 23rd of January, was restored yesterday.
THROUGH SOUTHERN TRAIN TODAY
A further examination was made yesterday by the officials of the Railway Department of the flooded section of the North Coast Railway between Rockhampton and Bajool, with the result that an engine was run over the length.
It was found that the track, though still submerged for a distance of about three miles and to a depth in places of about 1 ft., is quite safe.
It has, therefore, been decided to cancel the train intended to be despatched at a quarter to seven o'clock this morning via the Emu Park Railway, with a connection by steamer between Broadmount and Port Alma, and run instead a train direct to Brisbane - the first since the 22nd of January.
This train will leave the Stanley Street Railway station at a quarter to twelve o'clock this morning. Of course it will have to travel slowly over the three-mile section; but it is expected that it will reach Bajool in ample time to take up the ordinary time-table running to Brisbane.
The mail train that left Brisbane last night will, of course, come right through to Rockhampton; but it will probably be somewhat late reaching here.
The Railway Department has also made arrangements for the conveyance of Rockhampton today of goods that have been delayed at Bajool, Port Alma, and Raglan, and other places, preference being given to perishables, such as butter and potatoes, and, of course other foodstuffs.
A special train for the west, with passengers and mails, connecting with branch trains, will leave the Stanley street station at half-past seven o'clock this morning.
Passengers will probably have to be boated a short distance near Yeppen.
They may also be required to walk a short distance over the Dawson Flats.
Trains, with passengers and mails for Mount Morgan, will leave Stanley Street at 9.20 am. And 3.20 pm. today, the passengers being boated a short distance near Yeppen.
Mails and passengers from the west will be received at Rockhampton between 2 pm. and 3 pm. and from Mount Morgan at about 10 am. And 4 pm. today.
Yesterday morning the flood water was 1 ft. over the Alton Downs Railway on the Lion Creek Bridge.
The ballast for a length of four chains had been washed away.