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{On the 6th of February 1893 a cyclone brought torrential rains and destructive winds to South East Queensland. A second cyclone arrived on the 11th of February and a third on the 19th. In one 3 day period Crohamhurst Observatory near the head of the Stanley River, a major tributary of the Brisbane River, recorded 72 inches, or 6 feet of rain (a world record at that time). A huge amount of flood water came down the Stanley and poured into the already flooded Brisbane River causing a disastrous flood at the city of Brisbane. A third of Brisbane residents were left homeless and 35 people died. Following the flood it was decided that a dam was needed on the Stanley River for flood mitigation and water supply for Brisbane, but it was not until 1935 that construction began, and due to the war, the dam was not completed until 1954. In 1956 the Somerset Dam was officially named and opened. In January 1974 cyclone Wanda struck, and Brisbane suffered another devastating flood. In 1984 the Wivenhoe Dam on the Brisbane River was officially opened.}

1893

In 1893 down came the rains,
And there was quite a flood in Brisbane town.
Most fled to higher ground – for most had brains.
In 1893 down came the rains,
But year by year that memory it wanes.
Should all forget then one day more may drown.
In 1893 down came the rains,
And there was quite a flood in Brisbane town.

– D.N. O’Brien

{Photo shows children in the centre of Brisbane as the flood was subsiding}

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