Plaque remembers 1974 flood

IT was the greatest flood the region has ever witnessed and on Monday a plaque commemorating the 1974 flood was placed next to Daveys Bridge in Gatton.

Abbeystead Farm owner, Raleigh Davey said he remembers the flood like it was yesterday.

“I do remember I rang Sgt Jack Brennan in the early hours of that Australia Day and asked what the rainfall was for Lockyer Creek, because it was now a river,” he said.

“It was stinking of diesel and I asked him why and he said that was because of the submergence of the service stations in Grantham.”

There was originally a plaque placed to mark where the water reached the level of 48 feet high, but it was washed away in another flood.

Mr Davey said he had seen more floods in Lockyer Creek than any other farmer.

Mr Davey said Daveys Bridge was submerged for three days during the flood in 1974 when the water almost crept over the railway bridge.

“It is just unbelievable now to think that that bridge was under water for so long.”

He said a telegraph pole was washed away and communication was looking impossible.

“Telecom workers had to work the entire holiday to establish a temporary cable for emergency calls.”

Mr Davey described the 1974 flood as a once-in-a-hundred year event, but was wary of a similar evert occurring again.

“There is a cycle sequence through drought, flood and fires and even dust storms, it is part of the Australian scene.

“Should another cycle cross the Coral Sea and the Toowoomba Range gets eight or 10 inches of rain, the Lockyer Creek would get a major flood.

“If the country is sodden wet with the storm rains, there will be a backsurge on Tenthill Creek and the council workers will be sand bagging the library, you mark my words.”

Mr Davey is happy the plaque still receives some consideration.

“Local history at my age is paramount, and it is definitely worth keeping. It needs someone to remember it,” he said.

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