How Sydney reacted the last time the city had this much rain


Photos of youngsters with floodwater swirling round their knees or schoolchildren being ferried to security in a row boat. It appears not that a lot has modified since 1950 which was, till this week, the wettest yr for annual rainfall on report in Sydney.

All aboard: children excavated in Maitland floods, 1950.

All aboard: kids excavated in Maitland floods, 1950.Credit score:State Library of NSW.

Thursday was a day the data had been washed away. A spokesperson for the Bureau of Meteorology mentioned that quickly after 1pm the official rain gauge at Observatory Hill reached a cumulative annual rainfall complete of 2194.6 millimetres.

That was sufficient to exceed the earlier report of 2194.0 millimetres – data started in 1858 – set over the complete 12 months of 1950. That yr noticed widespread floods throughout NSW, with Maitland hit particularly arduous.

In 1950, earlier than the times of the State Emergency Service which was based in 1962, it was all arms to the fundraising pump, an idea of self-help acquainted to the residents of Lismore at this time. The Eveleigh Locomotive Workshop committee sponsored a live performance for flood reduction within the city corridor and The Metropolitan Theatre gave a particular efficiency of its present manufacturing The Chinese language Lantern in July to assist the flood victims. Stage stars of the day Elizabeth Bergner, Arthur Askey, Evie Hayes and Roy Rene (“Mo”) had been booked for a particular “flood reduction” live performance at Sydney City Corridor in assist of the Lord Mayor’s Flood Aid Fund.

Floods in Maitland, 1950.

Floods in Maitland, 1950.Credit score:Maitland Metropolis Libraries

On June 15 practically an inch of rain fell in Sydney between 8 and 9pm. Between 9am and 9pm 170 factors had been recorded [In January 1974 the Bureau of Meteorology made the conversion from recording rainfall in points to millimetres, 1 point = 0.254 mm, and 1 mm = 3.94 points]. Torrents of water from Narrabeen Lagoon and the hills to the west of Collaroy swamped Pittwater Highway, the Herald reported. Dozens of automobiles stalled in water 4 toes deep and needed to be deserted.

Mrs PM Tilburn caught a bus at 11pm from Narrabeen residence to Dee Why. She mentioned, “I’ve lived right here for 30 years, and I’ve by no means seen something just like the water we went by means of. All of the passengers had been terrified. We thought we might by no means get by means of.”

A letter to the Herald the identical month known as on Prime Minister Robert Menzies to prioritise dam constructing over work on the Snowy Scheme. RA Cohen of Blakehurst wrote: “Statesmen go down in historical past for his or her achievements. Then let Mr Menzies show his price by taking on the horrible problem to our Central and Northern rivers. Certainly, the Snowy Scheme lacks the urgency so apparent previously twelve months of building the dams which might defend these cities from destruction.”

A narrative from October could also be helpful for these judging the going and learning kind for a flutter on The Everest at Randwick subsequent Saturday.

The report mentioned: “Rosehill observe, recovering from the results of rain, was drenched by a heavy storm late yesterday. The observe is predicted to be heavy for at this time’s assembly. If the climate breaks effective this morning, the course employees will set to work instantly to dry out the observe, as a lot as doable earlier than racing begins.”

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