Gympie during the Major Flood of January 27-30, 2013

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Mary River Floods Gympie

This flood peaked in Gympie on Monday 28th January at 19.95M. There were businesses in the main street, Mary Street, that were flooded again, and other businesses in low lying areas along with some homes, sporting fields, parks and recreational facilities.

In the recorded history of flooding in Gympie, there have been 7 floods exceeding 20M (1893, 1999, 1898, 1870, 1955, 1992 and 1974) and each one has brought both immediate loss and long term gain to the city. The losses are incurred in damage to property and infrastructure, lost production, arable soil losses, and livestock losses. In almost every flood a small number of people lose their lives, mostly through failed attempts to cross flooded bridges or sections of roads.

A close examination of this photo will reveal flood waters in urban developments especially near centre of photo on the foreground side of the river.

PHOTO: David Stehbens, Pathfinder Aviation

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Comments (6)

bdeh on February 7, 2013

Here we get a good sight at the damage by the flood Ian. Nice and sad picture. Greetings Berend

Ian Stehbens on February 7, 2013

Greetings Berend,

Generally the valley and Gympie are well adjusted to the flood, but with the outstanding exception of the original business centre, part of which is located in a floodable area. That dates back to the original goldfield of 1867-70, at the beginning of the goldrush, prior to a big flood in 1870.

Once the business centre was fixed it has been hard to imagine shifting it. And the height, speed and unpredictable nature of floods makes levee engineering not viable here.


bdeh on February 8, 2013

I don't know how high the water was now Ian. In Maassluis a part of the city was also in danger when the tide was high. We had barriers in the ground that could come up when needed if the water was too high. Now we have the Delta dikes and a lock in the harbour. In the province Limburg they build concrete walls along the river Maas to keep out the water when it has rained heavily upstream. Also they digged out places to store water. Greetings Berend

Ian Stehbens on February 13, 2013

The city of Grafton on the Clarence River built levees (dikes) to protect the city, ensuring that they were higher than any possible floods. This recent flood was a new record for them, and fortunately the flood peaked within 2cm of the levee....but I bet they are counting their narrow escape as a blessing, but thinking hard about the near tragedy that would have resulted had the flood been fractionally higher! What will they do now?

Greetings from our post-flood green world,


bdeh on February 13, 2013

Wow, only two cm, they were lucky indeed Ian. Near the old city Kampen they're using kind of big "balloons". When the river IJssel is expected to go flooding, they put air into the "balloons" and so keep the water out of the polder. When there's no need of the "balloons" you can't see them. See this video. Greetings Berend

Ian Stehbens on February 14, 2013

'Tis remarkable engineering, Berend!

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on February 7, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens