What's left after the flood damage (1918)
Friday 25th February 1918
THE FITZROY FLOOD
AFTER the soaking the banks of the river have received, the collapse of portions of them is to be expected. A large slice of the south front between the Fitzroy Bridge and the shed of the Rockhampton Rowing Club, about 30ft in length, has fallen away to a width in the centre of about 6ft. On the north bank, almost opposite, there has also been a fairly large landslide.
Except in the outlying parts of the town, the streets of Rockhampton are in much the same condition as before the flood, though, of course, most of the blinding has been washed away. The roads leading out from Rockhampton to the country are in fair order, but are rather rough. There are, of course, small washouts on the sides of the roads.
Repairs are still being effected to the Central Railway in the Dawson Valley, trainloads of material being sent there daily. So far only a light engine has been run over the line there; but the western mail train tonight, with a large engine of C16 class, will travel over the section. Large engines will thereafter be used regularly.
The Railway Department hopes by Monday next to relieve the whole of the congestion up and down as a result of the flood and next week to resume the western timetable. Passengers for Emerald and intermediate stations should travel by the train this morning or tomorrow.
PORT CURTIS ROAD
RESIDENTS on the Port Curtis Rd are now clear of the flood waters, but not of the mud and debris, though the road itself is trafficable.
The marks on the houses furnish a good idea of the depth of the water in the locality when the flood was at its maximum. In places it must have been over 10ft deep.
It was quite 3ft over the floors of some houses built on high blocks. Many fences have been levelled with the ground, and most of those that resisted the strength of the current are well covered on each side with dead grass, weeds, etc.
The water was 6ft 7in over the floor of Mr. W.C. Ince's shop, which is only a stone's throw from the Balmoral Hotel. Fortunately, Mr. Ince was able to remove practically all his goods in the front shop to the top floor; but 16 cases of kerosene and a case of benzine are missing from the bulk store, which was taken off the blocks and deposited on the roadway.
The bathroom and an outhouse were also shifted by the water. A tank and one of the windows of the front shop were also damaged. The store, in fact, requires complete renovation.
NO portion of North Rockhampton suffered more severely from the flood than Kalka. The water in places was fully 10ft deep.
Even on the higher ground in Watt St it was level with the floors of the verandas of houses on high blocks, which, it may be added, were the only dwellings, except those on the highest ground, that were not affected inside by the flood.
The sudden rise of the water gave little opportunity to people in houses built close to the ground to save anything, and consequently quite a number of residents, some of whom are widows with families, had nearly all the contents of their homes destroyed. The flood, it is estimated, was 4ft higher than the flood of 1896.
From 30 to 40 people were accommodated at the Kalka Hotel, the licensee of which (Mr. J. Ellis), with his wife, did his utmost for three weeks to make them comfortable.
The residents of Kalka speak very highly of Sergeant J. McCoy, who is in charge at North Rockhampton, for the work he performed during the flood in rescuing people and warning others of the danger of remaining in their homes at the most critical period. Constable Bahr also gave valuable assistance.
The names of Messrs. Fred Hopkins Jr, Angus Connolly and Arthur Jenkins have also been mentioned as having rendered yeoman service.
The flood brought down large quantities of water hyacinth. The watercourses in places are thickly infested with it and stretches of the plant can be seen from the main roadway. The hyacinth has also established itself in various private yards at Kalka, but once the ground is dry again it should perish.