Ferried passengers arrive at Symons Chemist at the corner of East and William streets in Rockhampton during the 1918 Great Flood.
Ferried passengers arrive at Symons Chemist at the corner of East and William streets in Rockhampton during the 1918 Great Flood.

Special feature: Relive one of our most traumatic periods

Dear Valued Reader,

Welcome to your latest edition of From the Editor's Desk.

Once again, we want to say how much we appreciate you as a subscriber.

This weekend marks a milestone anniversary of the monumental weather event that led to Rockhampton's great flood.

The Morning Bulletin's chief photographer Chris Ison has trawled through the paper's archives from 100 years ago to prepare a special eight-page feature, which relives one of the most traumatic periods in the city's history.

It's dramatic and compelling. The extracts are exactly what those who lived through the event read each day in the pages of your paper.

Fitzroy Bridge Rockhampton during the 1918 flood.
Fitzroy Bridge Rockhampton during the 1918 flood.

Eight people lost their lives in the Rockhampton region due to the storm and floods, hundreds were forced from their homes as the waters rose and business came to a standstill.

Rockhampton lay isolated for weeks, the only form of communication was the telegraph.

For five days from January 20, cyclonic rain fell continuously in and around Rockhampton and throughout the Fitzroy catchment.

On February 1, the mighty river peaked at 10.11m.

Back in 1918, Rockhampton was one of Queensland's major regional centres. There was no electricity and very few cars.

Residents were familiar with floods, however had never seen anything of this scale and were taken by surprise at the speed the river rose.

Though these events happened so long ago, the reports and pictures of the time will bring home many recent flood memories for the region's people.

Our last major flood was only last year.

People go about thier business in East Street by boat, carriage and on foot during the 1918 flood.
People go about thier business in East Street by boat, carriage and on foot during the 1918 flood.

However today, we have become as close to experts as humanly possible in handling floods and are much better prepared than our forefathers were.

But despite a century of floods debate still rages about how to protect the city.

As the threat of flood waters continues to hang over Rockhampton, it beggars belief how our political leaders can't reach a solution on such an important issue as a flood levee.

Can you imagine the authorities allowing Brisbane to be so exposed?

It's time to protect Rockhampton.

Remember, if you are having any issues, our Subscriber Services team can be reached at subscriber@apn.com.au or on 1300 361 604 during normal business hours (Monday to Friday 8am - 5pm).

And if you ever have suggestions on how we can improve, we would love to hear from you.

Adam Wratten

Deputy Editor, The Morning Bulletin

(PS: Editor Frazer Pearce is currently on some well deserved leave and is back in the office next week).

   


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