FLOOD IN THE MELBOURNE
MIRACULOUS ESCAPE OF A CAB
The heaviest flood that has occurred in the city for a long time took place last night about 9 o clock . The sky during the evening had worn a threatening appearance, and about 8 o'clock a terrific thunderstorm broke over the town. The rain descended in a per- fect torrent for nearly an hour, and a serious flood was the result. The low portions of the city were quickly submerged, serious damage being done to property at the south end of Elizabeth and Swan- ston Streets. In both of these streets the water was flowing in one broad stream extending from shop-door on one side to shop-door on the other, and in many in instances the water entered the dwellings, in spite of the precautions which had been taken. At Whiteman's Hotel, in Collins street, the water had gained an entrance, and in Mulcahy's hotel, at the corner of Bourke and Swanstan streets, consider- able damage was done. That the rush of water was exceedingly strong is evidenced by the deposit of mud which was left on the pavements, and which in many instances was three or four inches in depth. In Eliza beth street, one of the heavy footbridges was washed away, and an immense paving stone near the post-office was lifted completely out of its position.
In Swanston street an accident occurred which was only prevented from having a fatal termination by the dogged perseverance and plucky activity of the bystanders. A cabman named Thomas Brown, through some unexplained cause, got into the current of the gutter at the inter- section of Swanston and Lonsdale streets, anti was swept rapidly along, totally unable to compete with the force of the stream. A tobacconist named Higginbotham heard Brown's shrieks for help and in conjunction with a Newfoundland dog made efforts to save him . The dog jumped into the stream and seized hold of the man, but the current was so strong that the cloth ing gave way, and the man was carried still further down the channel. The
dog then made another attempt, and seized Brown just before he reached Little Bourke street, but the force of the water was again too much for the dog, and he was compelled to relinquish his hold. At this moment Mr Higginbotham, who had taken hold of a post, leant out into the stream, and got a grip of Brown, hut he was compelled to give way. Tho man disappeared in the covered channel which runs under Little Bourke street, and all hope for his safety was abandoned. The dog, however, nothing daunted by his failures, got hold of Brown as he emerged from the channel at the lower side of the street, but Brown was again torn away, and rushed at headlong speed towards the closed channel that runs under Bourke street. Just opposite Mr Benjamin s tobacconist's shop another despe- rate attempt was made to save him. Mr Higginbotham, Mr Mates, and the invincible dog plunged into the stream, and by great exer-
tions managed to rescue Brown from what
must have been certain death. When the cab man was hauled out it was found that his clothes were torn to shreds, a fact which was
no doubt largely owing to tho persistent way
in which the dog had taken hold of him. In addition to this, Brown's flesh was found to be torn in many places, and he was at once conveyed to the hospital.
The Belvidere Hotel, Fitzroy, suffered con- siderable injury from the storm. The spout- ing overflowed and the water fell on to the ceiling of the hilliard room, the result being that large patches of the plastered ceiling fell to the floor with a tremendous crash, which greatly alarmed the inmates. The water, having found access through the ceiling, poured down upon the billiard table, injuring it considerably.
Thomas Laird, aged 34 years, a labourer, living at Hawthorn, was thrown down while endeavouring to cross a creek, near Haw- thorn, during the storm. He was taken to the Melbourne Hospital, where it was found that he was suffering from a wound on the forehead.
About 10 o'clock the flood had consider ably subsided, and except for the mud which had been deposited the streets soon began
to wear their normal appearance.