Mary River won't flood
THE MARY River continued to rise yesterday but Maryborough residents will be relieved to know it is not expected to reach or come close to record levels.
The Chronicle yesterday published a story saying the Mary River was expected to peak at 13.25 metres when, in fact, that was the forecast for Gympie.
Yesterday, it was confirmed the Mary River should reach about four metres in Maryborough over the next few days.
“There’s always the opportunity that the catchment could get more rain but at this stage we don’t think it’s going to go past the minor flood level,” Bureau of Meteorology senior hydrologist Paul Birch said.
Flooding was a way of life for Maryborough’s early pioneers but it was not until 1864 when the river rose to 9.14 metres they were given their first real indication of the ferocity of the Mary during a flood.
The highest river level recorded in Maryborough was 12.27 metres during “the great flood of 1893”.
More than 150 houses, businesses, mills, barns, crops and livestock were destroyed and hundreds were left homeless.
The Maryborough Bridge (now the Lamington Bridge) was washed away and 15 men on the bridge at the time were hurled into the raging river – miraculously they all survived.
The floodwaters had only just receded when another flood hit a few days later. Four months later the city suffered another and many farmers who had suffered devastating losses were forced to leave Maryborough.
Since then Maryborough has recorded levels of 11.30 metres in 1955, 10.95 metres in 1974, 6.65 metres in 1989 and 9.50 metres in 1992.
At Tiaro, the highest level ever recorded was 22.20 metres in 1893. This was followed by 20.70 metres in 1955, 19.50 metres in 1974, 15.90 in 1989 and 18.45 metres in 1992.
In Gympie the highest ever recorded was 25 metres in 1893.
Yesterday, the forecast was for scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms for the region today and tomorrow.
Maryborough has received a total of 169mm so far this month and Hervey Bay a total of 148mm.