The Floods

The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser

2 November 1844

The Floods

In our fourth page will be found a brief account of the recent floods on the Lachlan and elsewhere, and by the Herald of Tuesday last we perceive that intelligence has been received from Gundagai of a very extensive flood in that district.

The river (the Murrumbidgee) had for some time been subject to floods at short intervals, and had risen beyond the highest water mark for many years.

On Thursday, the 10th October, the waters subsided a little; on Saturday and Sunday the rain fell without intermission, but up to Monday morning the river appeared to remain stationary.

It began to rise about seven o'clock, and in the evening was two feet nine inches above previous marks, and forced several men from their huts.

At eleven o'clock on the same night it had risen two feet six inches perpendicular, in addition, and at four o'clock on Tuesday morning it rushed over the banks into the township, forcing the inhabitants from their houses to seek refuge on the hills, and in trees.

The waters subsided slightly on Wednesday, the 15th, but rose again on that night.

On Thursday they fell rapidly, and on Saturday the inhabitants were able to return to their houses.

The sufferings of the people in the district were extreme. A poor woman with four children, and a man who happened to be stopping in the same hut, were driven to the branches of a tree, in which they remained from Monday night to

Thursday morning, with nothing to subsist upon but fowl which the waters brought within their reach. A shepherd was also driven to a tree, where he remained without food for four days.

Three men and a horse, and a number of sheep, were drowned; and a Mrs. Guize, whose husband was at Port Phillip, remained on the roof tree of her house with two infants for several days, until rescued by the blacks in a bark canoe; the water was nearly to the roof of the dwelling.

An immense quantity of property of various kinds has been lost, and the township altogether presented a most desolate appearance.