TERRIBLE FLOODS IN THE KIM.
HEAVY LOSS OF HUMAN LIFE. FIFTEEN NATIVES DROWNED.
PROBABLE LOSS OF MANY WHITES.
UPWARDS OF 20,000 SHEEP SWEPT
SEVERE EFFECTS UPON THE
THE COUNTRY FOR MILES UNDER
GREATEST FLOODS KNOWN IN THE
[FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.]
DERBY February 17
Mr. Lukin, of Lukin and Monger, owners of the Lennard River and Lillamoolloora stations, arrived at Derby last night, after swimming across many places on the journey. He says the floods are the highest floods within the knowledge or traditions of the blacks. His report is as follows : Upon re- ceiving warning of the flood he left Lennard River station for the junction of tbe Barker and Lennard Rivers at 1 p.m. on the 7th, to remove the sheep into safety. When a short distance from the station he heard a tremeudous roaring approaching. He afterwards noticed a huge wall of debris rushing towards him. He hurried back and found the sheep at the homestead swimming about in the water. He called all hands to the rescue, and saved 550 out of 700. He then proceeded above the junction, and, working till dark, managed to save about 7,000 sheep and lambs. On mustering, it was found that 2,000 had been drowned. The country below the junction, between the Pin- dan country and the Barrier Ranges, a distance of 15 miles, is inundated. Four thousand dry sheep, 6,000 ewes with lambs, and about 23 miles of fencing have been carried away. The manager of Adelmooloora station reports that there are 170 feet of water in the Gorge 150 yards wide, and that the backwater from the Gorge baa drowned 2,000 ewes and 1,500 lambs which were mustered in the highest country in the Barrier Ranges. Viewed from the cliff, as far as the eye could see the country below the Gorge is swept clean of every vestige of growth. A cajeput tree
between six and seven feet in diameter, and which has been standing for fully a century, was washed away. Mr. Lukin; started for Derby as soon as the water had. subsided. He arrived at Barmaningarra, station, which is owned by Mesers. Davis and McLean. Mr. Barnett, the manager, acting on the advice of Mr. Lukin, shifted the sheep into higher country five days before the floods came down, by which means all were saved. It ia feared that a number of
cattle are missing. The flood reached Balmanagua station on tke night of the 8th. On the following morning all the natives crowded on to the rails,of the stockyard, 150 yards from the station, and were afraid to move off as the flood was still rising. Mr. Barnett swam to them and ordered them to swim for their lives. He, with a couple of natives, were assisting an invalid native from the rails when three natives were washed under a tree, and Mr. Barrett was carried a mile down the etream, and landed in an exhausted condition. A native woman and a child two years of age abo perished. At Barmaniugarra Mr. Lukin met several of his natives who were in low country. They stated they had lost four of their number, and six others were still miss- ing. The water was rising at the rate of three feet an hour. Barmaningarra is sixty feet above level country. On calling at Meda River station, owned by Mr. W. E. Marmion and others, the manager reported to him that 1,300 ewes were lost. Mr. Lukin estimates his own loss at 14,000, including lambs. The barometer before the floods registered 29.62, and at midnight 29.50. If there had been the same rush of water at the Fitzroy, Mr. Lukin is positive from his knowledge of the country that the Fitzrroy telegraph office and the stations of Messrs. McDonald and Rose, and J. Blythe must have be swept away. If so all lives must be lost. Eighteen inches of rain fell at Lillamcolloora in forty-eight hours, an inch and three quarters before and three and three-quarter inohes during the floods at the Lennard, two inches at Barmaningarra, and one and a half inches at the Meda station. It is a note- worthy fact that upwards of eleven years ago, at the time of the grcat flood, Mr. Lukin shipped 4,000 sheep to Rockingham, which were caught in a willy-willy on the 18th of November, 1872. He leaves by the first steamer in March and is not returning to the district. Mr. Hutton, the manager of Mr. Emanuel's Livaringa Station, in a letter dated the 14th, reports that the water came with a terrific rush at two o'clock in the morning, and that by daylight at least 2,900 sheep, including all the stud rams and ewes, were lost. No men were drowned. The Fitzroy line has been interrupted since the morning of the 8th.
The Acting Postmaster General, Mr. A. H. Williams, has received telegrams from the officers at Derby and Fitzroy relating to
the floods, and the consequent interruption in telegraph communication with the Kim- berley district. The officers need every exertion to restore communication, but the Fitzroy River was unfordable. The following are the telegrams:
DERBY, February 23
Disastrous floeds in district. Particulars to hand have been wired to Perth papers. South line interrupted at 11 a.m. of the 15tb. The police started cut on the 16th, and re- turned on the 17th. They were unable to get beyond the Yeeda. The fault is appar- ently close. The line is probably submerged and parted at the river. Hoping to reach Fitzroy crossing to despatch delayed business from south bank of Fitzroy, and effect tem- porary repairs. The water police, another boatman, and myself started in the police dingy en the lStb, a few miles from the month of the river. Although running four days the tide had no influence on the flood waters, and we were obliged to abandon the venture. We returned to the station on the 19th. The police agiin
travelled to the south section on the 20th. On reaching the Yeeda, water was receding very slowly. The country is still inundated. They returned here on the 21st. The manager of the' Yeeda has kindly promised to advise as to the state of the line between the station and the river, a distance of six miles, as soon, as the water subsides. If broken at crossing it will be at least a fortnight before the boat can enter to restore communication. The north line was earthed from the morning of the 8th till the afternoon of the 21st. when the lineman exchanged signals, and left the line insulated. I believe he is camped at the Upper Fitzroy crossing until the river is fordable. I fear Fitzroy Station is flooded, as the site is very low. Mr. Annear was on the point of quitting at the beginning of the year as the water was within one hundred yards of the building. If they received any warning they would make for the hills, a distance of
five miles. They informed us on the 7th that the river was running a banker. The mail contractor, Mr. Flinders, was due here on the 20th and has not yet arrived. I have for- warded the delayed telegraph business to Broome per Albany - J. R. SINCLAR.
-FITZROY , February 25th.
Fresh floods occurred here on the 8th inst., when the Fitzroy and Margaret Rivers and all creeks overflowed their banks and flooded miles of country. At daylight on the 9th the water was eighteen inches deep round the house, and ten or twelve feet on the flats Looking from the house top on the 9th and 10th, a sheet of water could be seen extend- ing as far as the eye could reach.. The Fitzroy river rose sixty feet in a few hours, washing away the telegraph line; with the exception of a few battery cells and some other small articles, all the station property is safe. Considerable losses in stock are expected.-C. J. ANNEAR.
FITZROY February 6. , C Tossed tfee rlveryeaterday to speak Derby.
The river is high, 'but falling fast. I will re- ' main* in communication with Derby and send busii lees to the station by natives. I do not expeotio be able to Tepair-line for 12 áaye.. The vveaiher is unsettled. .