I was prompted by the news yesterday afternoon to ring my brother, who lives in East Devonport in Tasmania. I had seen East Devonport named as an evacuation area. He was OK, but see Record floods in Tasmania.
This gives some idea of the extent of the recent wild weather.
Just south of Wollongong the town of Robertson at the top of Macquarie Pass had 600+ ml. Across the Illawarra escarpment from West Wollongong there was flooding over the weekend at Picton. My brother expressed surprise at that. Being older than I he saw more of our Picton family than I did. The area is a very significant one in the Whitfield story. See for example my April 2015 post Whitfield family history contact. But it turns out floods are nothing new in Picton.
Picton Viaduct, late1800s.
Picton has a number of notable historic sites. At the northern end of town, overlooking Picton, is Vault Hill, so named as it is apparently where early settler Henry Antill is buried, allegedly upright at his own request, so that he could better overlook his domain. It is currently on private property.
Just south of the intersection of Argyle St (the name given to the old highway as it passes through town) and Margaret St, at the bottom of Vault Hill, is the old courthouse, built in 1864. Some of the sandstone for its construction came from the old gaol which was hit by floodwaters in 1860….
Some images from last weekend’s flood: see Picton business community reels in the flood aftermath: pictures, video and Picton’s main street floods.
And do look into these items: The role of climate change in eastern Australia’s wild storms and Sydney storm: East coast lows to become fewer but more intense, scientists say. It isn’t entirely a simple matter, as both those items make plain.