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 5:04 pm 28 Jan 09

Yes, it was awesome to get that publicity from the Chronicle! Thank you everybody – you know who you are!!

: )

Thumper Thumper 4:17 pm 28 Jan 09

yep, I may see it in a month or so.

I’ll message you via facebook Danman…

Danman Danman 3:48 pm 28 Jan 09

Err Yesterdays in fact – I thought today was Tuesday due to long weekend.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 3:27 pm 28 Jan 09

Today’s Chronicle?

I should get mine in about two weeks, then…
(I just found out about the Nolan Gallery a few days ago)

Danman Danman 2:59 pm 28 Jan 09

There is an article in todays Southside Chronicle regarding our proposed memorial, with details on how to contact me if you wish to contribute to our efforts, more non monetarily at this stage. (Page 8, top right hand corner).

If you are interested in being involved, or even just wanting to sign a petition(Hopefully it will not come to that) or show your support to our cause, you are urged to join the facebook group as it will be the communication hub for this project.

Thank you kindly to JB, who was instrumental in casting a wide net on our behalf via the chronicle.

ricketyclik ricketyclik 11:28 am 26 Jan 09

I’ve done a bit of drainage engineering, and at Uni the Canberra system and the Yarralumla Ck storm were both on the syllabus.

The Canberra system, from memory, works on the basis that in urban areas the 1 in 10 year storm will be handled by the gutters, grates, drains and underground pipes, up to 1 in 20 should be contained by roads, and the 1 in 100 will stay below property boundaries (along the stormwater channel easements, aka parks in Canberra).

The freakish thing about the Yarralumla Creek storm was that although its severity wasn’t that great, it travelled along the path of the flood wave at just the right speed to be continually adding to the peak flow crest, resulting in a peak flow rate more akin to a much more severe storm.

Cutting edge flood design tries to take that sort of possibility in to account, with computer simulated areally-dynamic storm modelling.

Granny Granny 10:09 pm 25 Jan 09

I’m kind of committed up to the eyeballs tomorrow, BerraBoy68, or I would be there in a flash!

What time is it?

I do hope some of the others can make it along with you …. I think it’s fantastic that you’re going! Thank you so much.

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 9:04 pm 25 Jan 09

All, I am informed by another Rioter that a few of the police involved in the ’71 Floods are intending to gather tomorrow morning (Aust. Day) at the site fore a remembrance. The CT have been invited along too. I don’t have specific times etc. for this gathering but if you have a few hours to spare and are so inclined – go for it.

If you can make it, I’d let the older police guys know your there to support them and the call for a memorial. I’m not sure if they want it as a private function or not, but think they’d appreciate the support and the fact that others remember or still care. Hopefully, I’ll see you there.

Granny Granny 12:10 pm 24 Jan 09

That’s great, BerraBoy68! Good on you!

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 10:50 am 24 Jan 09

Danman said :

Yeah I am not sure how long they have been there but I saw them a few weeks ago and was like wow – huge accident and I never even heard about it.

I think someone above ^^^ or in one of the links mentions the memorial – but I am not sure how long they have been there.

Danman – I’ve just joined the FB group. Please let me know if/how I can help. I’ve read various articles about this incident for years as they have appeared in the CT and believe a proper memorial is long overdue. Since I first read about this some years ago I often think specifically of the young guy that died in the flood as I drive around the roundabout. From memory he was a bit mentally underdeveloped but had just got his drivers license and was caught in the flood and drowned. I’m not sure why but I’d like to see photo’s of the victims before they died – if any exist or are on record. It’d help to relate to them more than just names.

Danman Danman 6:47 am 24 Jan 09

Yeah I am not sure how long they have been there but I saw them a few weeks ago and was like wow – huge accident and I never even heard about it.

I think someone above ^^^ or in one of the links mentions the memorial – but I am not sure how long they have been there.

el el 10:49 pm 23 Jan 09

Seriously? I drive past there daily. You’re probably right though – I took a more detailed look at the whole area after reading this thread yesterday.

Granny Granny 10:20 pm 23 Jan 09

And it’s probably not really enough of a memorial if nobody remembers what they’re for.

Danman Danman 10:16 pm 23 Jan 09

el – They have been there for ages, I saw them a few weeks ago – but it only clicked the other day why they are there.

I guess its a case of not knowing and then observing after knowing?

Granny Granny 9:58 pm 23 Jan 09

Oh, that’s really nice!


el el 9:39 pm 23 Jan 09

7 small white crosses appeared next to where Melrose drive joins the roundabout sometime this morning/last night.

Thumper Thumper 8:51 pm 23 Jan 09

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

What I have in mind will take no more than mowing. Besides, it doesn’t need to be anything grand. It just needs to be.

poptop poptop 8:48 pm 23 Jan 09

You may 😉

It is from the Canberra Times Article of 4 October 2008 that I linked in my comment at #3.

Danman Danman 8:42 pm 23 Jan 09

Poptop – Where did you source your information – If I may ask ?

poptop poptop 8:26 pm 23 Jan 09

Victims of the flood were Jennifer Anne Seymour, 12, and her sister, Dianne Elizabeth, 8; Michael John Smith, 6, and his two sisters, Carmel, 18, and Margaret, 14; Roderick Dumareq Simon, 20, and Lon Victor Cumberland, 18.

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