THE HURRICANE IN THE
FURTHER ACCOUNTS OF THE
Roebourne, April 12.
News from Woodbrook states that the homestead was uninjured by the recent cyclone. A strong wind merely was experienced, and the river ran a banker. J. Bassett, the Tableland mailman, and a native youth had a narrow escape from drowning. After going through a com- fortless night they had to swim over swollen creeks and water courses to save their lives.
A correspondent at Balla Balla writes stating that Balla Balla at present is in a most deplorable state. Most of the buildings are totally wrecked. The post office recently erected is de- molished, one verandah post only standing. McMahon's blacksmith's shop and dwelling house are levelled. The Balla Balla Hotel is partly disroofed, while the Freemasons' Hotel is completely so: Hester's store has
lost part of the roof. The Chicago Hotel
and the Balla Balla woolshed are almost in ruins. The lighter Cossack sank to the bottom of the Creek. That part of the
road which was formed across the marsh is swept away.
Whilst the correspondent was writing three men on Depuche Island were signal- ling to the shore by means of fires for help, but the residents were unable to render them assistance, having no boat of any description left. The men have been on the island since Wednesday, March 29. Two lives were lost at Balla Balla by fly- ing iron, and falling buildings have in- flicted injuries on a few residents.
Mr. McMahon, who came in from Balla Balla, reports that the storm commenced there in earnest about 9 o'clock on Satur- day night, setting in from an easterly direction. It continued up to about 1 am., when it lulled for a short space of time, and again returned from an opposite quarter with double force. The postmaster, when the office collapsed, was blown a distance of 50 yards against the wheel of a dray, to which he clung during the night, being in an exhausted condition when day dawned. Mrs. Gibbings and children and Miss Hancock had a provi- dential escape. The roof blew into the room of which they were the occupants, but a mattress of a bed had by some means got on top of them and thus prevented the falling beams and rafters from injuring them. They were rescued from their perilous position by a few men who, ob- serving that the roof had fallen in, feared that something serious had happened and
went into the house to render assistance.
The police boat has been despatched from Cossack for Depuche Island to take
succour and render assistance to the three
castaways there. The road between Balla Balla and Big Sherlock is in almost an impassable condition for horseman. Sher- lock homestead is uninjured, but the wool- shed has disappeared entirely. The stock suffered severely. Mrs. J. Fisher and family spent the night in a verandah, the house having been blown away, whilst the river came up to the door. Between Big Sherlock and Balla Balla hundreds oí carcases of dead sheep are lying.
Mr. Flaxman, who has arrived at Roe- bourne from Tableland, reports that a heavy gale was experienced at Mount Florence, where 7 inches 20 points of rain fell. At Tambrey 7 inches 40 points were recorded, but no loss of stock or damage to property resulted. The Cooyapooya and Springs Homesteads were uninjured. Mr. Flaxman had a narrow escape from meet- ing with an accident on the road. In crossing flood waters at Andover, the leader of the tandem he was driving suddenly disappeared. The shafter re- mained unmoved on the brink of what afterwards turned out to be a deep hole, Soon the leader re-appeared, and swam around to the bank again.
Writing from Mallina, under date the 6th inst., tha Deputy-Mining Registrar
states that the severest cyclone and flood that has visited the district came up on Saturday. It took the roofs off buildings, felled fences and swept the country for miles around, as far as the eye could reach. The land, excepting the hills, was inun- dated. Mr. and Mrs. Hester and others were obliged to wade through the water for half-a-mile to reach dry land. In doing so several times they were carried off their feet by the current. The water was 2ft. deep in Mr. Hester's house, and the fur- niture and personal effects were destroyed. Miles of fencing are down.
A report brought in from Mr. D. McRae, of Croydon Station, shows that the place fared badly. The water rose within 3ft. of the water mark of the disastrous flood of 1894. The kitchen and the storeroom of the men's hut (stone buildings), the flat half of the roof of the residence, the wool shed, the butcher's shop, and the stables are considerably damaged. Fortunately the live stock were moved out of the
paddocks on to the hills the day before, and no loss occurred. Mr. McRae says that the hurricane set in at 7 p.m. on Saturday, and continued to rage till 2 o'clock the next morning. The rainfall
was 12 inches.
Mr. Weston. chief telegraph assistant at the Roebourne office, has started out with a party of repairers to inspect the east- ward line and endeavour to restore it. Ten poles are down between Roebourne and Jones' Creek, and half a mile of wire is broken. From Jones' Creek the line is
down for a mile and a quarter, and the wire is broken, 500 yards being buried out of sight. Only 10 poles are standing, and 25 poles and a mile and a half of wire are required to complete the repairs.
The flood marks indicate that the creek rose 50ft. above its normal level, the country for miles being under water. Travelling is difficult owing to the boggy state of the ground.
The manager of Mr. Mackay's Munda- bullangana Station, for the safety of which fears were entertained, writes to say that that place had ten inches of rain, but no unusual wind. The natives on the station say that the Yule River ran higher than
ever known before. A normal loss of
stock is anticipated. Woodbrook lost about 100 sheep.
Whim Creek suffered severely, only the walls being left of both the Federal and Whim Creek Hotels. The stores adjoining and all the outbuildings were wholly swept away, together with their contents The water was 6ft. in the hotels. The inhabitants betook themselves to the tunnels of the Whim Creek Copper Com- pany's mine for shelter. The residence of the manager of the mine was unroofed and otherwise damaged. A number of fat sheep and horses were drowned. Only one place at Towranna escaped without
Mr. Weston, later, reports that the tele- graph line is down for 10 miles from George River. The Sherlock River was twelve miles wide during the flood.
The steamer Beagle has been got off successfully, and taken to the Blocks for the necessary repairs to be executed.
Pyramid station is all safe, but it has
not yet been ascertained what loss of
stock occurred, although this is considered to be very small.
Further news has been received from Sherlock station to the effect that the gauge registered the rainfall as 19 inches 50 points. The barometer fell from 29-90 to 28-70 during the cyclone, which lasted from Friday night till Sunday morning. Mr. George Jones was in charge of the sheep at the Salt Creek paddocks, where a native woman was drowned. He has sent in information to Mr. J. G. Meares that about 40 inches of rain fell in that locality. He passed several hours in a tree surrounded by water. The fences are all damaged. At the homestead poultry of all kinds were killed by stones which were hurled through the air.
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