Thursday, 24 October 2013

Pic of the week - Townsville high tide

This amazing picture of Townsville during a high tide event in 1924 is my choice for 'Pic of the Week'.  It's one of a number of images doing the rounds in Townsville at the moment via Facebook and emails.

Photo:  From the Hyde Mason Hall Album, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

It's actually from the John Oxley Library collection at State Library of Queensland and shows Townsville being inundated by a high tide of 11 feet.  Taken from the vantage point of Melton Hill, Victoria Bridge can clearly be seen in the swollen Ross Creek, as can several hotels in Palmer Street.

The Townsville Daily Bulletin reported on Tuesday, 4 March 1924:

The morning tides this week are particularly high. On Monday morning, the tide was 11 feet 5 inches.  This morning it is likely it will reach 12 feet.

It was obviously a recurring problem at this time, as five years later, the Brisbane Courier (26 January 1929, p. 18) reported the following:

The tide this morning was officially given as 11 ft. 5 in. but it reached 13ft. 3 in. the highest for 20 years.  No damage was done.