FLOOD LEGEND:Men climbed on pub roof to escape rising waters
WHEN Maryborough flooded in 2011, 2012 and 2013, the city was left with a combined damage bill of $43 million.
But while the city struggled after consecutive floods, it was far from the first time the Mary River had broken its banks.
Fraser Coast tourism identity and veteran radio announcer Greig Bolderrow said the biggest recorded flood hit the city in 1893, but before that Butchulla legend told of an even bigger flood, Mr Bolderrow said.
At the Bond Store, the heights of the different floods have been recorded, with the highest reaching halfway up the windows on the second storey.
He said legend had it, some men decided to sit on the veranda of the Grand Hotel in Maryborough's March St to watch the water rise, but soon it was lapping at their feet.
They then retreated to the second storey to continue to watch the river run down Maryborough's streets.
Through the floods in the 70s, Mr Bolderrow worked at the local radio station and remembers when the police station went under water.
The officers were forced to move into the ground floor of the radio station and Mr Bolderrow remembers a man who had been taken into custody for a minor offence had to operate the phones while police were kept busy with the flood.
Seven years after the most recent flood, the city is experiencing the opposite problem, with drought currently declared across the Fraser Coast.
Acting mayor Darren Everard said the Fraser Coast had received more than 80mm of rain since January 1, but it had not been enough to increase water levels in Lenthall Dam, which was at 58.5 per cent yesterday down from 60.1 per cent at the start of the year.
"While gardens and lawns throughout the region are looking a lot greener, thanks to the recent rain, we still need a lot more rain to top up our dams," he said.
"These figures highlight why we are on level two water restrictions and why we are encouraging residents to keep their daily consumption to at least 210 litres per person per day."