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THE LATE FLOODS IN THE
THE result of observation has proved that Australia is
subject to periodic floods of a very extensive and destructive character—irrespective of the minor over- flowings of creeks and rivers which annually take place in various parts of the country—and February,
1860, will long be remembered as the month in which, perhaps, since the occupation of this continent by Europeans, the most general and disastrous inunda- tion occurred, causing great loss of life, and the destruction of property the amount of which can scarcely be estimated by the ordinary rules of valua-
tion, for the reason that it will take years to replace and reproduce what has been so suddenly swept away. The characteristic results of the Australian climate are drought and floods, and in order to escape the effects of the former the early settlers invariably built their homes on the banks of rivers and creeks ;—such positions too were, and still are, for the same reason selected as sites for townships, and in too many instances without due regard to the safety of the population should these rivers overflow. The present calamity, of which we give a narrative below (collated from the letters of our corres- pondents and other sources) followed three days of most boisterous weather, which, by the ac- counts we have received, must have extended over a great portion of the colony ; but the Southern Districts, lying between the ranges and the coast, have suffered most severely. The record
of privation, of intense suffering, and of patient endu- rance,—the acts of heroism by which numbers were saved from an almost certain and terrible fate, and the truly Christian benevolence which characterised those who were themselves sufferers, in alleviating the dis- tress of the houseless and starving, possess a painful interest for our English readers, many of whom, having resided in the colony, will realise the magni-
tude of the disastrous visitation.
Extensive floods were anticipated in Sydney from the heavy rain which had fallen, almost without intermission for four days, from the 6th to the 10th of February. On the morning of the 9th a severe storm burst over the city—the lightning doing considerable damage, and the heavy rain flooding the lower parts. In Queen's-place the inhabitants of fifteen houses were washed out—the foundation of the Elephant and Castle, at the corner of Pitt and King streets, was so much damaged that the front gave way, and has since been taken out. The lightning struck Mr. Lenehan's furniture warerooms in Castlereagh-street, and destroyed goods to the value of £150 ; the Star Hotel, in Macquarie-place, was also struck, and a stone in the foundation perforated by the electric fluid. At Woolloomoolloo, and in the suburbs several houses were flooded, and others struck by lightning. The damage to property was very considerable, and it is a matter of astonishment and thanksgiving that no lives were lost, some of the escapes being almost
The first tidings of the flood came from Windsor. On Saturday, the 10th February, the Hawkesbury rose several feet above its ordinary level, and the water was rushing along at a rapid rate, carrying with it the Cornwallis Bridge. This was in the morn-
ing. By midday the banks were overflown, and the waters began to cover the low lands, and in the after- noon a portion of Cornwallis, Clifton, and Clarendon, the lower part of the Fairfield estate, and the farms below M'Grath's Hill were under water. So rapid was the rise that the people on the flats had scarcely time to remove their stock. After rising about twenty feet, the waters gradually subsided during.the' following two days. Thc damage in this.locality tWAS not so gieut as was at first supposed. ... .. r
In the Campbelltown district the Menangle;river , rose on the same day to the height of fifteen feet in. '. thc space of one hour, and shortly after not a particle
of the bridge was visible.. Our correspondent stated "that the flood increased until the whole. . flat from Mr. M'Curtayne's public house ,to .the
river, and for a considerable space beyond .it,
i was one uninterrupted sheet of water, and. is, .said. ; to be the highest known in this part within the-' recol ' lection of the oldest inhabitant. The damage done í was very considerable, and the loss will be great on j the part of the railway contractors. Mr. M'Curtayne has lost a stack of.hay of about eight tons ; four acres ' and a'-halfof excellent potatoes were completely swept ,; away, and all his grapes, apples, pumpkins, kc. Some
; idea may be gathered of thc effect of thc flood in his garden, "from thc fact of several of the railway sleepers having been lodged in the upper branches of the apple t trees. Mr. P. Kune's house was completely surrounded ,by the flood to within a few feet of the doors, and the
railway embankment which crosses the road at this , .part has Been Bwept clean away for the space of some twenty or thirty yards. It was a most fortunate cir'..' cumstance that the flood took place in the day-timo,
?otherwise there must have been great loss of life," as . it was just touch and go with many Of the navvies andr .their families, and they had barely time to save their, tents and moveables from destruction-the last things 'removed were through four feet of water."
; At Penrith and along the banks of the Nepean the most extraordinary flood had taken place. Ño rain having fallen during the week, the residents oh the level lands near the banks of the river were asto- nished to find their dwellings entirely surrounded, and the river up ; it rose in an hour or two within a few feet of the top of its banks. The creeks and tri- butaries .that empty themselves into it were so' sur- charged as to cause thc water to run up for. miles oh the land ; so much so, that a number of the inliabif tants left their houses and sought shelter on the heights-the volume of water coming down with sucll ' force and rapidity, carrying immense trees and logs of timber, caused a rumbling and noise like the loudest artillery. A great Heal of damage has been done to the maize crops in the lower districts. Numbers of horses, cattle, and pigs have been swept away. Boats and a punt belonging ' to the Bridge Company have been carried" down the river,
but no human lives have been lost. The tele J ' graph poles across the river were carried away, and for a time cut off telegraphic communica- tion with Bathurst. Men of practical experience who witnessed the scene were of opinion that no high bridge could have withstood the heavy logs of timber, which came down at the rate of ten milos an hour.
. At Camden the Nepean ro6e on Friday, the 9th. February, higher than it was ever known before. The rjver was up to the level of the Cowpasture Bridge, or twenty-five feet above the bed of the river, and at
sunset on that day it had gained its highest point- : five feet above the level of any former flood, and thirty-one feet over the flooring of the bridge. The water came into the ground floor of Mr. Thompson's new mill, and the ground floor of his store and dwelling-house on the opposite side of the road were several feet deep in water ; the old mill beinjr deeplv
submerged. Dr. Bluek's, Mr. Martin's, and several' . of the adjoining dwellings vvere more or less under, water.' Mr. Thompson sustained much loss from the
flooding of the stores and premises. Great damage to ' the fences and crops oh the low lands also took
place. At Camden Park the flood was at the highest. ' about three o'clock ; there also it was about five feet above the highest former flood mark, A graphic description of the flood was forwarded to us by an oe-,
casional correspondent, from which the following Ls , extracted :-The oldest inhabitant never saw such a' flood in the Menangle or Cowpasture River. Th«' rain must have fallen very heavily about East Bargo,
as the quantity of water that flowed in this neighbour- ' hood could nothave sent the river up.to such a height iii so short a time. In the vicinity of Camden the land on the banks of thc river is considerably lower and of greater extent than at'Menangle, and I have
been told that in the neighbourhood of Cobbity ti - stack of hay of about forty tons was swept off. Mr. H. Thompson, of Camden, must be a great sufferer, as I have heard that his mill and store were full of
water up to the first story. On the Campbelltown ' side of the Cowpasture River one house was swept away. All the telegraph wires are broken ; indeed, it is fearful to contemplate the amount of damage done.
As yet we have heard of no loss of life...
Tho rapidity with which thc river rose, and the forcé1,', of the currents very much' increased the destructive' effects of the flood. Thc waters subsided very, gradually, and it was some time before the bridges
At Goulburn the flood was very disastrous to pro- perty throughout the district. On "Wednesday, the 7th, rain began to fall slightly, increasing during this
night, and on Thursday it poured down in torrents ; ' on Friday morning the- rivers were all up, the Mul- "' warra rising with great rapidity, and spreading out ott either bank. oír. Hobley and his family, on thc oppo- site side of tte ponds, hud to leave their houso carly in
Ute maning, uud -vtout up to ljiatUs'u.uv'ii. The
water gradually gained toward's Blackshaw's and Davis', and danger -was apprehended to the inmates. The Grace Darling was got out, and a party of volun- teers, consisting of Messrs. C. Fitzpatrick, H. Hewitt, T. Davis, H. Hollis, and another or two went across in the boat ; but the inmates declined to come away at that time, and the boat returned. Thc water how-
evcr, continued to rise, and was soon seen to enter the houses. About ten o'clock Mr. Fulljames, Mr. Thomas,
and Mr. Field manned the boat and went across to the cottage behind Davis's, occupied by Mr. Goold. They took on board Mr. Goold, Mrs. Goold, Mr. T. Richards, and two or three others, and landed them
safely near Mr. Phillip's. The water by this time had surrounded Bradley's mill, and the inmates of the neighbouring cottages had to take refuge in the
mill, where Mr. Phillips did not consider they werè
in any danger. The boat party then returned to Blackshaw's, and took on board the females of Blacks haw's and Hobley's families, landed them 'safely on this side; they returned and brought over the re- mainder of the families; and crossing again took on
board Mr, Davis and family, who had to be taken out of thc Upper floor windows over the verandah into the boat, and they were all conveyed safely across. This
service was not performed without great exertion and risk, and much credit is due to the boat party. Between their first and second visits the water had risen three feet, and at mid-day it had nearly covered the verandah of Davis's house, leving a very small portion of the top part only visible; at about this point it remained till night-fnal. The roof only of Hobley's house was visible. Lower down, thc brick- yards were submerged, and the water, we arc in- formed, was a foot or two deep in Mr. Bowtell's house, a point it did not reach at the time of thc Gundagai flood. The Goulburn Herald, of
February 15th, describes the damage done as very great, and gave the following details : At Yass, on Friday night, the water was within five feet of the floor of the bridge, and the lower story of the Yass mill was flooded. The inmates of thc
adjacent dwelling-houses, and the mounted police also, had to remove. The lands at the Veteran's Flats have been completely submerged, and the farm produce destroyed. Some of the residents barely escaped with their lives by taking refuge on the roofs of the houses. Mr. David Muries, whose house stnads up a considerable height above the ordinary level of the flats, reports that the water was nearly into his house, that almost all his wheat is spoiled, and that large quantities of his fencing have been carried away. A very old resident informs us that the waters there were between two and three feet higher than at any period during the last twenty seven years. In the vicinity of Inveralochy vast quantities of fencing have been destroyed. The rise of the flood compelled Mr. Lockhart and his family to leave their house. The stacks were in all cases safe. Generally throughout the district the second crop of hay is destroyed, and the maize and potato crops most seriously damaged. At Mrs. Gibson's, Tiranna, the amount of damage sustained has been very great, probably not less than £2000. The water was about three feet high in the lower story. As a precaution against their loss, three valuable horses were brought into the house and stabled in one of the rooms, where the waters soon after reached up to their bellies. One that had the gripes at the time, died. The beautiful garden is a ruin, the fences are everywhere carried away, and on the flood subsiding, the dead bodies of sheep were to be seen around, stopped in their down- ward course by trees and fencing. About two thou- sand five hundred sheep of Mr. Gibson's have been destroyed. They were seen floating down the Mul- waree in great numbers on Friday, but it was not then known to whom they belonged. The new bridge, lately erected by Government at Thorn's waterhole has been destroyed, and now lies on the old racecourse. Mr. Fox, of Jerrara, between Marulan and Bungonia, is a loser to the amount of three hundred pounds. Mr. Teece, Mr. Sibson, Mr. Fowell, and Mr. Davis, tanners, have sustained losses of not less than one hundred pounds each. Thc brickmakers living at Towrang are great sufferers. One or two are nearly ruined. The quantity of bricks destroyed will seriously impede building operations for sometime to come. Mr. Bowtell has lost 109,000 brick, and a great quantity of wood and grass-altogether worth £300. Mr. Raymore lost 50,000 bricks ; Mr. Shaw 30,000. The Wollondilly also was exceedingly high. Through Friday vast quantities of wheat, a great deal of it in the sheaf, fencing, some furniture, and a little hay, came floating down. Mr. Gale, the fellonger, sustained a loss of about £20 ; fortu- najtely he had time to remove most of his property. Mr. T. Chamberlain, of Baw Baw, is a considerable
loser. We have also heard that Mr. Cameron sus-
tained great damage, and Mr. Crouch had lost almost everything. At Mummel and the Upper Wollondilly, all the tanners have suffered more or loss. Mr. Flecknoe, of Woodhouseleigh, has lost several sheep through the heavy rains; and he as well as his neighbours, has lost a great amount of fencing.
At Nelligen ihe lower part of thc town was 6ut)merged. Currowan, the Government township, was alBo under water. At the Little River, two stores and a public-house were washed away, and two lives lost ; and at Ulladulla many persons have lost zll their property.
A correspondent of the Illawarra Mercury, writing from thc Macquarie River, states-" That on Thurs- day, the Sth Februar)', during the heavy rains, the Macquarie River rose rapidly to an unusual height higher than it has done for at least five years. At
half-past three o'clock in the afternoon it "was eight
or nine feet above its ordinary level. It then fell as rapidly as it had risen. ' I observed it drop two feet in fifteen minutes. But this was only the prelude to a still' greater, perhaps I may say, unprecedented inundation. Precisely twelve hours after it first overflowed, it again rose to a height of twenty feet above¿ta usual state. At half-past three o'clock on Friday morning it was terrifically grand to behold. I was twice thorougly drenched while watching it. Tremendous trees were uptorn by the roots, and borne along in its mad fury. It then became impatient ol thc restraint put upon it by the tortuous winding oí its course, and broke clean across those points of ¿it land, around which its pellucid waters slowly rippled at other times. It overleaped, or carried alone with it, nil that opposed it. I could observe the dark and ponderous logs and trees rise and sink ns they heaved along i'and heard them dash against standing wnter oakB which abound along its banks, either tearing ott the bark or making the lofty branches kiss the iiood. It was awfully sublime, in the clouded moonlight, to watch and hear the once tame Macquarie Rivulet, as it surged and seethed before you, spanning from bank to bank its widest channel, and stretching out over the low lands like sheets of light. Much injury has been done to the fences along and near its course, and many portions of the flat grounds have been covered several feet deep with mud and debris, which, after a little, will tend to enrich the soil. It is nearly twenty years, according to the statement of the old jest resident, since anything approaching to suoh a ?flood has been witnessed, and I hope it may be longei before we see such another. I was afraid for the new bridge, but I hear it is all right."
.At Wollongong the town and surrounding countrj Etiliered very much, and the loss generally in this district will be felt in Sydney, as it supplies the citj ?with a large quantity of butter, maize, wheat, potatoes, trntf Other vegetable necessaries,
"We now come to those districts where the flood! caused gTeat loss of life, and the destruction of homef which had been reared after years of toil. Not onlj were houses and all they contained swept away a Shoalhaven, but the alluvial soil on many of thi farms was carried completely off, and scattered ove: the surface of the surrounding country. Tin desolation of this district is beyond_ ade: quote description. Thc small townshín o Tema, situated in au elbow of the Shoal haven. river, waB completely inundated, and th inhabitants fled to Nowra, which, from its elevation escaped the ravages of the flood. So quickly did th river rise that no time was afforded to save a singl article. Women and children were carried througi the water j some took refuge on the tops o their houses, and were swept away ; other flew to haystacks-many hung on to the branche of trees, and remained there for houis until taken o: by boats. The church, which is distant about a mil from the town of Terara, afforded shelter to about hundred persons, and Mrs. De Mestre, wno is
heavy loser by the catastrophe, threw open her houst and gave food, clothing, and shelter to about 6ixt) The .various account» which have reached us give th most heartrending description of the sufferings c those overtaken by the water, while, at the sam .time, 6ome consolation is to be found in the heroisn ameufcting to an utter disregard of danger, th: induced a number of persons to risk their lives i saving others. A correspondent of the locf journal after drawing a vivid picture of the desoís tion everywhere observable, -writes :-" The grea ' the awful, and most appalling scene of wilddesbh
tion, irrecoverable wreck, loss of life, and annihilatio of houses and property, is Terara township. It woul appear as if the avenRing fury and power of the floo .were reserved for the special destruction of th locality. Truly, it is a melancholy and sou bellowing sight, to look abroad upon the spots whe: goodly dwellings once stood, and happy, too coni dent families, once dwelt-living in .peace «nd-con
fort; the creation of their own industry, and smiling in contentment and feelings of independence. The fol- lowing houses, with all the furnituro and property, hare been destroyed, the greater number washed Reilly! away :-Tho Commercial Bank, cash and bills saved through the great exertions of the manager, Mt. Whittingham, and at much risk ; Mr. Holmos' dwel- ling house and'*gooda much injured in the Terara Store ; the steamer store burst open, and turned round, front on to the river, it is a complete wreok ; the bani, manager's house washed away ; "Widow Mallack, and storo washed away, body not yet found ; Griffiths' house, built on sleepers, raised on blocks two feet, washed away. Here a heartrending scene occurred. Mr, Griffiths took lu's aged mother on his back, made four attempts to carry her to tho Royal Victoria Hotel, and each time was driven back by tho eddy formed by the water rushing against it; at length, going with tlie Hood, he swam and waded, still carryr mg his mother, and os he reached Terara ¿team Mill exhausted, he laid his mother down, and as he did so: she died. Nothing but the great moral power of his filial love and his high sense of duty could, with God's help, have given him the physical strength and courage to breast thc raging torront as he did for sd long a distance, and throughout so groat and so pro- tracted a struggle. May God reward him for his labour of love, even though that labour was lost. Next waB Coser's house. He and Mrs. Coser mounted on the roof of the skilling ; Mrs. Metcalf, seventy years old, mother of the latter, " old Tom Wright," and Dick, the butcher, got out on the roof of tho house, or some other part of the Fame building. As the whole floated away, the parts separated, each carried along with incredible speed. Their agonising cries for help attracted the attention of Charles Rob-' son and John Holland and son, who were, and hadi been from the moment of dancer, rescuing all who' required help. They could only discern' the three heads, but saw Mr. and Mrs. Croser nt! some distance hurried alopg out of reach. [The raft on which Mr. and Mrs. Croser endeavoured to save! themselves jarted, Mrs, Croser sank, and was drowned! and _Mr._ croser was discovered the following dayl hanging in the branch of a tree from which ho was' rescued by a boat in a most exhausted state.] Three: were 6aved,and brought todoMestre's mill. Murray's! house and premises travelled the same road to ruin ; | he, however, with his usual foresight and prudence, i had removed his family when thc water first showed! symptoms of rising above the ordinary height of our j periodical floods. His neighbour, Mr. Lovegrove, j clerk of Petty Sessions, considered such precautionary ' measures quite unnecessary ; unhappily his over-con-1
Silence has caused him much loss ; Mr. Brown, dis- i trict constable, cautioned Mr. Lovegrove that it was ' not safe to keep the Government records and papeiB < in his house, as tho river was rising very rapidly. This caution, too, was neglected, and, in less than half an hour after, house, out-offices, Government1 records, public money, Crown Land maps, and all, tho contents of the house, were swept away, not leaving a trace behind. Thc Mackenzies , a numerous, well-to do, and happy family of farmers, residing on the same estate, have lost house, bam, other out-buildings, and all they contained, also money ; indeed, they had barely time to save their lives; the headland, called 'Mackenzie's Point,' jutting out some distance into the stream, has wholly disappeared, and better judges than I am say that from twenty to thirty acres, including portions of several Terara town allotments have been cngulphed in thc swollen river. The whole of the Terara Estate, with the exception of P, de_ Mestro's house, was one continuous sen, and were it not for the unceasing and brave exertions of C. Robson and the Hollands before-mentioned, j many lives would have been sacrificed ; the en-
dangered took refuge in thc Schoolhouse, Mill, Terara House, and upper parts of tho out-buildings in P. de Mestrc's and in the Church. The humanity, Christian charity, and pure benevolence of the de Mestres'-one and all-are beyond all praise. Food, shelter, and clothing wero quickly supplied ; tnose in the mill were to use wheat or flour they re- quired ; many called upon the proprietor to purchase flour. ' No,' he nobly said, ' go make up and bake what you want, I'll sell none.' A bullock was slaughtered at Terara, and Mrs. de Mestre, in that true, unalloyed spirit of benevolence which has ever marked her conduct to those in want, gave orders that all should be freely and plentifully supplied with whatever they required." So complete had been the destruction of the food of the district, that but for the timely aid of some gentlemen who sent down flour, the horrors of starvation would have been added to those of cold and exposure. Immediately on the news of the calamity reaching Sydney, Mr. Egan and Dr. Lang waited upon the Colonial Secretary (Mr. Forster), urging upon the Executive tho necessity of sending immediate relief. The Government had, how- ever, with the most praiseworthy promptitude, char- tered a steamer from Mr. E. Manning, and a quantity
¡ of flour, some sheep and clothing being put on board, i she left for Shoalhaven the same night. Mr. Manning,
too, generously offered to take down, free of all charge, any pai eels that might be sent to his wharf, and in a letter to this journal urged on all persons to make up bundles of such clothing as they could conveniently spore-and the call was responded to most liberally, as the steamer by which these parcels were forwarded was filled with them. By the flood eight persons lost their lives, viz., Mrs. Coser (found some miles from her house), Mrs. Mallack (not found), Mrs. Griffiths (all close neighbours, living onTerora township), John Bucket (in charge at the time of house at Saltwater Creek), servant of Mr. Daniel danville's Burrier, John Maguire (found drowned when endeavouring to make his way from Broughton Creek to Bolong, to see if his father and family wero safe), and two children at Broughton Creek ; and it is even now believed there are others not yet discovered. Tile water has gone down, and people have set to work repairing their house«, which in most cases are two or three feet thick with mud and sand. The appearance of the farms is also very much altered. Some, that a short time ago had every indication ot fine agricutural farms, are now either denuded of their alluvial soil, or are mere sand drifts. The water cut a new channel through Mr. Kinghornc's estate, and an island is formed of laige dimensions. Fears were entertained of another flood, as it had, up to Sunday evening, the 4th March, been raining heavily for twenty-four houTs ; the creeks rose, however, only four inches, and the rain was confined to the low lands.
The news of the Shoalhaven flood had scarcely reached Sydney when it was followed by a report that Lower Braidwood and the mining district of Araluen, and the dwellings in thc vicinity of Bell's and Major's Creeks, had been swept away. The rumour was speedily confirmed, and accounts arrived giving a description of the terrible destruction of life and property in that direction. _ From these it appears that it commenced raining in tlie Braidwood district on the 8th February, and on the 10th it fell in torrents, and continued with unabated violence for twenty-four hours : the creeks rose with fearful rapidity, and burst over the banks, roaring in a terrific manner, and taking all before them. Nuggetty Point was demolished ; at Jemicum bene 'the diggers suffered severely-barriers, tents, shovels, and tubs were floating and carried away in all directions. * In Braidwood and the immediate neighbourhood, the loss of property was very great ; our correspondent wrote :-" Mr. Robinson's kiln of bricks, ready to be fired, and protected by hides and cedar planks, and the waod to burn the kiln with, have all disappeared ; the loss is estimated as above £120. Mr, James Malone's wheat paddock, valued at moro than £50. is still the bed of a furious stream. Mr. Moriarty s garden has sustained more than £40 worth of damage ; as also Mr, May's, which had a splendid crop of vegetables or the season. Mr, Smith, of the brewery,, has had the whole of his fencing swept away-a damage not to be repaired for £20. Carts and other articles in use in such establishments have been carried away. Mr. Brenan's brick house, in course of erection, has partly been washed down by the strength of the rain and the wind. Mr. Badgery's new stone stable has greatly suffered, the gable end having given way. Stacks of hay not altogether secured are wet all through. House properties have in numerous instances been damaged, walis ore shook, ceilings arc falling. Mr» Paul Burke's and Mrs. Elphic's public houses have been swept clean awty, with all their contents v carts, drays, farming implements on thc premises having followed in the .same stream. Messrs, Bennison and Garnett's stores have entirely disap apeared, and their loss is estimated at £3000. Th« inhabitants had a very narrow escape ; Mrs. Elphic, with her-child, had taken refuge on the top of her house, a portion of the roof being already washed away. Messrs. Archibald and Matthews, of the saw mills, have had a miraculous escape ; their dwelling! were erected on an island formed by tho creek and the race to propel the wheel of the mill-the watei rose, and the inhabitants with great difficulty gamed the roof of their houses. The shrieks of the womer and children were scarcely audible over the rortrmc of the torrent, and only one man at the opposite sid« was there to-see and hear all; this man, a native o! America, who was emploved about the premises ir repairing damages to the mill done by the last flood, riskeo his own life, and, having made a canoe, ventured through the surf, and one by one savec two numerous families." A man named Wart, I and Iiis wife were drowned on Warrum
bacca Creek. At Bell's Crook a large nutabei
of Chinese were located. This creek runs through two rançcs, and thc course is very narrow ; consequently in time pf flood, tho. water, rises immediately. Many of ítíie vtftoiiliia&Mt*^^ off hy 'the flood, carried over thc falls, and precipitated into the Araluen ^valley. ? Under. BelVs Creek Falls, ¡tho mangled bodies of three Chinamen were found, who had evidently been overtaken by the wateis, and hurled over the mountains to a depth of 1000 feet. Thc most distressing occurrence was that which befel Mr. J. Carney and his family at Araluen. Mr. Carney waB well known in Sydney, and nt one time was in almost opulent circumstances as a master-builder. He opened an hotel at Araluen, where he resided for some time past. On Saturday morning, the 10th February, the waters rapidly rose and submerged tho lower part of thc hotel ; Mr. Carney placed his wife and children on the counter, but thoy were unable to remain there, and in trying to reach a place of safety the whole family, with the exception of ono son, were drowned-six in num- ber. It is said that Mr. Corney was warned ot the danger, but he persisted in remaining, and as her hus- band would not leave, Mrs. Carney remained also. The water still rising, Mrs. Cornoy at length attempted with hey children to save herself and them, when her son Augustus, a youth sixteen years of agc, como to her assistance, and, holding his mother and sister, endeavoured to cross the torrent ; a hugo log unfortunately struck them all, and swept them down the stream. Augustus Carney saved himself after much difficulty by seizing some drift wood. The poor boy wept bitterly when he was rescued ; and the sad fate of this family, respected by all who know them, will cast a shade of sorrow on the homes of many. Bodies were found near Moruya, in a very mutilated condition, and it is believed some of diem belonged to thc Carney family, if so, they must have been carried a distance of fifty miles through scrub, trees, ond over rocks. Two children, respectively aged five years and eighteen months, disappeared under the follow- ing circumstances :-A man named Johnson and his family were residing within the enclosure of Clear .Hill paddock, near the fence; while the water rushed in thc tent the family were nearly all in bed, Johnson and his wifo at once sprang to the fence, which ended on high ground not touched yet by the flood. The whole of the family were walking on thc rails of tho fence, tho mothor carrying her baby, when the rail partly gave way, and the mother and tho two children were precipitated into the torrent. Tho husband took hold of WB wife, from whoso arms tho baby had been torn away, and rescued her from a watery grave. Trooper Smith, who had lately joined the force, was endea- vouring to escape to Slr. Sweeny's house, when the current carried him off, and his corpse was recovered when the water subsided ; it was entirely buried in the sand, part of the arms projecting. Seve- ral bodies not known have been recovered, and it is anticipated that at least seventeen human beings have lost their lives at Araluen. For three days all communication between the north, the main part of Biaidwood, was cut off by the swell- ing of the Galamatory Creek, and people who hud not secured provisions were near famishing, when the water having lowered a little, ropes were thrown across and provisions passed to the northern end, by the help of tubs fastened to these ropes. At the southern, end of the town, the bridge known as Potter's, was entirely washed away, and traffic stopped in that direction. The banks arc now nearly perpendicular, and fow horses dare venture getting up them. They aro so high that it is impossible to get a vehicle from one side to the other. The damage done to tho diggings was very considerable ; that which
will bc most felt for the time is the destruction ef tho Union race, the construction of which cost over £1000, as it supplied the water for gold-washing to most of the miners at Lower Araluen ; it was entirely filled up with earth, and it will require a large amount of labour to clear it. The flat, at tho Upper Araluen, was one vast sheet of water, extending from the foot of the range to the other." A Braidwood journal states-" Thelatefloods appear to have had a most renovating effect upon Major's Creek, which has been so often declared used up, but which is at present, maugrc such repeated gloomy accounts, one of the best paying gold-fields in thc district. All the holf-washcd tailing of former years, which hove been looked unon as payable, but beyond thc reach of water, have been washed into thc bed of the main creek, and from the dry gullies and surface hills quantities of auriferous dirt were also broughi down. The effect of which has been that during the past week all the diggers located there have been doing well. We have heaid of some parties earning £4 per diem, and others from £30 to £40 per week, by merely sluicing the drift. It is reported that two lads obtained thirty ounces of gold during the week. Mr. C. Hendricks, storekeeper, reports that every one is satisfied, and that he last Monday purchased nearly 100 ozs. of the precious metal. Of course, thc news from Araluen is not so cheering. Yet we havo been credibly informed that many parties have already commenced operations, and one storekeeper in town expects that he will be enabled to purchase some Ata luen gold thi6 very day, from parties who havealroady cleared away from their claims the debris caused by thc late floods ; but we fear that it will take months before anything like former times will be seen in the valley."
The damage at Boisdale to crops is very great, and it is believed £5000 will not cover the loss.
The Moruya Valley came in for its share of the effects of the flood ; the rain also commenced
on Wednesday thc 7th February, and a letter from there says :-Ihe someday it assumed a more con- tinuous choracter, which was maintained in all its copiousness, almost without intermission, during tho succeeding three days. The river continued rising until Saturday evening, when it overreached by a couple of feet or more the watermurk of the last great flood. On Friday evening, the volume of water had attained an equal magnitude to the largest of our ordinary floods, and brought proofs of its might in the massive logs which coursed downwards with fearful rapidity along its mid-channel. Night fell on many anxious fears about the probable morrow-a morrow destined to see them by far too truly and extensively realised. Daybreak discovered the flood still increas- ing, and with its increase additional trophies of house- hold furniture and mining implements, which too plainly testified to the destructive havoc being effected in the Araluen ? valley. The flood during the day continued its aggres- sive character-at times gradually and steadily rising its mighty bulk ; and again upheaving with a sudden and overwhelming surge, as though some giant barrier to its wilful course had suddenly given way, or some deluge-charged cloud had burst and discharged its contents into the mountain ravines until six o'clock (Saturday) when the first indications of its subsidence were observable. This did not, how- ever, prevent the more timid, or shall I say the moro cautious, from removing with their portable effects higher up the ranges, even from situations which a deluge less than Noahic «ould barely have reached,
ThelosB inflicted was very considerable.
Mr. Wilson the member for the Southern Gold- fields, accompanied by Mr. Fairhurst, who received thc first newB of the flood, waited on the Premier in reference thereto. The Govern- ment immediately sent telegraphic messages to the Benches of Magistrates, desiring them to send provi- sions in lat ge quantities to the deluged districts. These instructions were carried out with promptness, and the amount of suffering reduced in a great degree.
Immediately on the news of the disasters by the flood reaching Sydney, steps were taken by a number of gentlemen to hold a public meeting for the purpose of taking into consideration the best means of relieving the unfortunate sufferers. The meeting was held on the 20th February, and the chair was taken by the Mayor. The claims of those who had been ruined by the floods were forcibly urged by Sir Charles Nichol- son, Bart., Dr. Lang, Archdeacon M'Encroe, Mr. Piddington, M.L.A., Rev. W. Cuthbertson, Rev. J. J, Therry, Mr. Parkes, Rev. J. Voller, and Dr. Bland. The following resolutions were carried :-" 1. That ns it has pleased Divine Providence, within the last few days, to visit the southern portions.of this colony, and, in particular, the districts of Shoal haven, Goulburn, Braidwood, Araluen, Moruya, and Bega with a severe and calamitous flood, occasioning great destruction of valuable property and life, it becomes the inhabitants of the colony gener- ally to express their worm sympathy with the numer- ous sufferers on this most lamentable occasion. 2. That, although the Government has responded with becoming zeal and promptitude to the call of humanity on the occasion, by affording immediate relief to the more urgent coses of suffering, the cala- mity is of too extensive and deplorable a character not to require the deep commiseration, and to call forth the zealous assistance and co-operation of this com- munity. 3. That, os it is desirable that the pecumarr assistance required for the purpose should be afforded rather by small contributions from thc many than by large sums fromafew, itisexpedicntandnecessary that collectors should be appointed under the supervision of a general committee, to canvoss the different words of the city for contributions to this benevolent object, and that a subscription be now forthwith entered inf). ?4. That the following be the general -relief committee
for Sydney : Hon. Deas Thomson, C.B., Hon. the Speaker, Sir Charles Nicholson, Bart., Hon. Sir v W.AWBurton, M.L.C.,- Sir DanielrCooper,.Jlight Worshipful' thé "Mayor;' 'Rev. Dr.' Lang. M.L.A..,_ Venerable Archdeacon" M'Encroe, the Kev. Dean Cowper, Rev. W; Cuthbertson,' Rev. G. H. Moreton! Rev. S. Rabone, Rev. G. H. Stanley, Mr. C. Xemp¿ Mr. J. Fairfax, Hon. R. Jones, M.L.A., Hon. G. Allen, M.L C., Hon. H. Prince, M.L.C., Mr. O: Egan, M.L.A., Mr. J. B. Wilson, M.L.A., Hon. John Hay. M.L.A., Mr. S. D. Gordon, M.L.A., Mr. F. A. Cooper, M.L.A., Mr. W. A. Piddington, M.L.A., Mr. T. W. Cape, M.L.A., Mr. Fairhurst, Moses Joseph, Mr. Williams (late American Consul), Mr. Moses Moss, Mr. S. Gray, M.L.A., and Mr. E. Allen ; Mr. Charles Kemp, treasurer. 5. That, while the committee generally will be happy to receive and to account foT any contribution» that may be forwarded to any of their number individually from the interior, the co-operation and assistance of the other towns and districts of the colony is hereby respectfully invited."
Un the termination of thc proceedings a subscrip- tion list was opened, and several gentlemen at once put down their names. Since then, wc believe, every class in tlio community have or arc in procesB of contributing to the Relief Fund. The amount already
subscribed is £3700.
Meetings have also been held in other parts of thc colony, and the funds will bo supplemented by thc pro cceds'of o concert to be given hy the musical profession at the Exchango on Wednesday evening next. The directors of tho Exchange have given the gratuitous use of the hall, and the members of thc profession novo also.gratuitously volunteered their services.