What do we know about the Yamba Drive flooding deaths

johnboy 22 January 2009 106

On the discussion about Deakin flooding commenters have raised an incident in 1971 when apparently flooding on Yamba Drive killed seven (?) people.

Seven is a lot of people, it’s nearly twice as many as the 2003 fires.

I’m curious if local historians know more about this, and why there isn’t a prominent memorial?

UPDATED: If you’re so inclined there’s now a Facebook Group to join calling for the erection of a memorial.

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106 Responses to What do we know about the Yamba Drive flooding deaths
Granny Granny 8:18 pm 23 Jan 09

That’s right. There are always plenty of reasons not to do something, but nothing constructive would ever get done if people always focused on the obstacles rather than the solutions.

These people deserve a memorial, and we intend to get them one!

: )

Danman Danman 8:02 pm 23 Jan 09

Granny – I concur – but if worst comes to worst – Im sure we can handle it. I have a whipper snipper and mower (Both salvaged and repaired like new from Aussie Junk!! )

There is a current memorial in place – I wonder how the upkeep of these are addressed?

Granny Granny 5:57 pm 23 Jan 09

Well, I can’t see that a plaque would require a huge amount of maintenance, though. No more than keeping the grass and weeds down, and they’d have to do that anyway in that area.

old canberran old canberran 5:44 pm 23 Jan 09

Yes, and I think people that brave deserve to have closure, old canberran.

I agree Granny. My comment was not necessarily my opinion about a memorial but my opinion about the Government policy on memorials. I can think of numerous events where a memorial could be requested and that’s what a Government would want to avoid for no other reason than ongoing maintenance for example. Nothing looks worse that an overgrown memorial.

Granny Granny 2:39 pm 23 Jan 09

Hopefully somebody who was there at the time or who knew those involved will post, although there are less Baby Boomers on the net than subsequent generations, I think.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 9:55 am 23 Jan 09

So back on topic, does anyone know the names of (or anything about) those that died?

Danman Danman 9:00 am 23 Jan 09

Oh and max kudos to whoever started the FB group…It was not me so I cn not take credit – but whoever did – cheers – you’re enabling a great thing.

Danman Danman 8:59 am 23 Jan 09

Good stuff – Il take that all on board – perhaps if people want tt discuss it further they can join the facebook group – that way we have a dedicated area to discuss it, we are not taking up RA bandwidth and we can quantify interested parties.

I think a letter to Mr Stanhope to begin with.

If you join the facebook group, ill move all discussions regarding this there.
I can not access FB @ my place of employ so if you ask any questions of me, please be patient and ill try and get back to you after COB on that day.

Ill draft a letter to Mr Stanhope tonight and hopefully we can have it off to him for the 38th anniversiary on the 26th Jan.

Thumper Thumper 8:51 am 23 Jan 09

A letter to Stanhope and cced to the leader of the opposition. It wouls also help to get the idea onto radio SGS and one of the morning FM stations. 666 could possibly be interested as well.

You need to create enough public interest that the government cannot ignore the issue.

I have an idea for a design as well. Simple, but good enough I think.

johnboy johnboy 8:45 am 23 Jan 09

Dan, first move is to try and get official sanction.

If you get no joy there we’ll consider a guerilla action.

Thumper Thumper 8:30 am 23 Jan 09

I think we could stand for memorials popping up all over the city for every seven death pileup.

Of which we’ve had, ahh, none? 😉

miz miz 8:02 am 23 Jan 09

And to think they are proposing to build right over the stormwater drain running along Athllon Drive Phillip (units and commercial I think?). I doubt that a flood like this could ‘never happen again’ – The new year hailstorm in Tuggers only a couple of years ago did a similar thing – debris/hail (including huge blocks of concrete falling off the side of the storm water channels from water pressure) blocked the large stormwater drains in Calwell. Just good fortune no one was washed away in the floods on taht occasion.

I thank our lucky stars we didn’t get caught in that Woden flashflood – we were going home in a car that only ended up getting bogged in Lambrigg street in someone’s topsoil that had washed onto the road! Not sure if dan’s articles mention it (or did I miss it?) but my recollection is that is was dusk/early evening so it was dark, making it even harder to rescue people.

Danman Danman 6:20 am 23 Jan 09

man that post made no sence – let me know if it needs deciphering – its early 🙁

Danman Danman 6:19 am 23 Jan 09

Basic facts are that the 03 bushfire have their own memorial (4 fatalities) = the Air Disaster has its own memorial (10 fatalities) The we have is along the lines of a brass/bronze plate on a cement slab honoring the bravery of those involved on the night, and honoring the memory of the poor souls who perished that night.

Even if it is self funded I cannot see why the Government would say no – after passing the buck for 38 years.

Maybe if we get approval we can get some local businesses on board as well, using local radio stations as a catalyst ?

The important thing is to get the families involved.

Luke the Scouser Luke the Scouser 11:59 pm 22 Jan 09

what is “the mushroom” i went to melrose from 05-08 and remembering hearing stuff about it

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 10:56 pm 22 Jan 09

Granny said :

I think those people do deserve the closure they are seeking and some recognition for the courage displayed and a public memorial that people were lost here in order to show our respect for that loss.


Granny Granny 10:52 pm 22 Jan 09

Yes, and I think people that brave deserve to have closure, old canberran.

PM PM 10:45 pm 22 Jan 09

johnboy said :

I think we could stand for memorials popping up all over the city for every seven death pileup.

I’m not sure how to take that comment – but if your’re serious, I’ll try to assist.

johnboy johnboy 10:02 pm 22 Jan 09

I think we could stand for memorials popping up all over the city for every seven death pileup.

old canberran old canberran 9:58 pm 22 Jan 09

The problem with memorials is that they set a precedent. If the ACT Government erected one for the Woden disaster the floodgates (no pun intended) would be opened for requests for other memorials all over the city.
As I recall it there was a 100 year frequency flood in Woden the weekend before the Australia day downpour. Debris from the first flood blocked some of the stormwater drains and which hadn’t been removed by the time the second 100 year deluge happened the following weekend. It was not really a design fault but rather an unexpected event by mother nature, 2×100 year events within 7 days.

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