Monday, January 24, 2011

A History Lesson

The following letter to the editor left on the cutting room floor at the Sydney Morning Herald...I guess it's a little long, but it could have been much longer! Passing ABC Journalists please take note and perhaps refrain from use of the word "unprecedented" unless it actually is.

Dear Editor,
In this age when point and click research is available 24/7/365 it is surprising that Dean Driscoll (Letters 20/1) needs help with his history. A search for flood on the National Library's online Newspaper archive produces over 600,000 results, while the word drought, 300,000. This seasons disastrous and widespread floods are not unique but have occurred numerous times. Of note are the following headlines from the Sydney Morning Herald February-March 1893: "Trememdous downpour in Toowoomba" "Terrible Floods in Queensland", "Floods in the Tweed District", "Flood in the Clarence", "Floods expected in the Hunter", "Grafton Flooded", "The flood in the Richmond", "Another terrible flood in Brisbane", "Lismore Flooded",  "A flood at Bowral", "Heavy Flood at Bega", "Great Flood at Branxton", "Disastrous Flood at Maitland", "Great Floods in New Zealand". 

For February 1928 the following headlines are notable:
A tropical Downpour streets converted to rivers” The Adelaide Advertiser Thursday 2 February 1928
Heavy Storms in Riverina” The Sydney Morning Herald Monday 6 February 1928
Floods in New South Wales. Stock and fencing washed away” The Advertiser Monday 6 February 1928
DANGER OF FLOODS. Yea and Goulburn Bridges.” The Argus Tuesday 7 February 1928
STORMS IN THE COUNTRY. ARMIDALE” The Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday 7 February 1928
Rivers rising. Deluge in South Queensland” The Brisbane Courier Wednesday 8 February 1928
FLOODS IN QUEENSLAND MUCH DAMAGE REPORTED” Barrier Miner Thursday 9 February 1928
Queensland Storms. Low lying country Flooded  The Advertiser Wednesday 8 February 1928
Brisbane floods warnings issued” Barrier Miner Friday 10 February 1928
Yarra in Flood. Nine Feet rise.” The Argus 17 February 1928
Cyclone at Tweed Heads” The Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday 15 February 1928
Floods in North and South” The Sydney Morning Herald Friday 17 February 1928
Phenomenal Rain, Narrandera” The Sydney Morning Herald Friday 17 February 1928
Water over banks. Position at Maclean” The Sydney Morning Herald Friday 17 February 1928
One Huge Lake, Breadalbane Plains. Goulburn” The Sydney Morning Herald Saturday 18 February 1928
Terrific Storm. Damage at Glen Innes” The Brisbane Courier Wednesday 15 February 1928
Grafton’s Plight” The Brisbane Courier Thursday 16 February 1928
Casino Flooded  The Brisbane Courier Thursday 16 February 1928
Landslides near Lismore” The Brisbane Courier Friday 17 February 1928
Tropical Storm. Victoria suffers heavily  The Mercury Wednesday 15 February 1928
Floods in many parts Brisbane” Cairns Post Wednesday 15 February 1928
√Ārmidale Flooded” Barrier Miner Thursday 16 February 1928
Serious Heavy rains. Broken Hill isolated from South Australia” The Advertiser Friday 17 February 1928
Condamine in Flood” The Brisbane Courier Friday 17 February 1928
Rivers Rising In high flood” The Brisbane Courier Saturday 18 February 1928
Capital Territory Flooded” The Brisbane Courier Saturday 18 February 1928
Deluges and Floods in Queensland and New South Wales” The Brisbane Courier Saturday 18 February 1928
Victoria – rivers Still rising  The Sydney Morning Herald Monday 20 February
Orange Flooded  The Sydney Morning Herald Monday 20 February
Bundaberg Wharves Covered” The Brisbane Courier Tuesday 21 February 1928
Rains in South Australia. Pastoral country flooded” Western Argus Tuesday 21 February 1928
The Series of storms in four states” Cairns Post Monday 20 February
In South Australia much damage is reported” Barrier Miner Monday 20 February
Central Kempsey Flooded” Barrier Miner Monday 20 February
Maryborough Flooded” The Canberra Tines Wednesday 22 February
Water through windows, West Wyalong” The Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday 22 February

How about 10 days in January 1934?
Lismore deluged Kyogle in darkness The Courier Mail Tuesday 2  January 1934
9 inches in 24 hours Rivers in High flood Cairns  The Courier Mail Tuesday 2  January 1934
Tweed Flood Feared The Courier Mail Tuesday 2  January 1934
Queensland Storms Floods delay trains. Bridges under water The Sydney Morning  Herald Tuesday 2 January
Thunder Storms cause damage. Lithgow The Sydney Morning  Herald Tuesday 2 January
Floods in Melbourne Suburbs Western Argus Tuesday 2 January
Heavy Thunderstorms damage in South Australia  Western Argus Tuesday 2 January
Floods wreak havoc in California The Courier Mail Wednesday 3 January
Storm ravages border areas, shops flooded in Kyogle The Courier Mail Wednesday 3 January
Flood in Burdekin  The Courier Mail Wednesday 3 January
Floods in Queensland The Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday 3 January
Melbourne Streets resemble canals The Mercury Wednesday 3 January
Queensland Rivers in flood The Advertiser Wednesday 3 January
Canberra Isolated by Road The Courier Mail Tuesday 9 january
Wangaratta suffers large flood expected The Argus Monday 8 January

It's not called the land of drought and flooding rains for nothing, maybe there's something to this history caper afterall! 

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