Ballarat flood 1857

From Hotels of Ballarat

There was a major flood in Ballarat in April 1857, with sections of Main Road flooded to a depth of over a metre.

History[edit | edit source]

News reports of the April 1857 flood blamed the failure of the government to deal with damage to water courses from mining.

There had been heavy floods at Ballarat. The "Star" says:- "The rain of yesterday was again sufficient to flood the main road in several places to an extent that has caused severe losses to the owners of property, and jeopardised human life. For hours the swollen waters of the creek were flowing in an impetuous torrent upwards of two feet deep across the road, at the bridge which connects the township with the flat; while further down, from the Duchess of Kent to the Montezuma, the water was over three feet and a half in depth running like a mill stream. In that locality the lower floors of the buildings were converted into water courses, and a large amount of property very seriously damaged. In the absence of all authority, or anything like a proper surveillance on the part of the Crown officials, the water-courses have been built over, or stopped up; and hence the result- a large number of innocent sufferers. The residents of the flooded portions were engaged for hours, some of them up to their necks in water, in the attempt to clear away for the inundation, and except by vehicles, which were almost floated off 'terra firma,' all traffic was stopped. One or two inebriates were near paying the penalty of life for their indiscretion, and altogether the scene reflected the greatest discredit upon the authorities here, through whose neglect and downright culpability the disasters were mainly owing."[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1857 'Colonial News.', The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser (NSW : 1856 - 1861; 1863 - 1889; 1891 - 1954), 11 April, p. 6. , viewed 16 Sep 2018,