Port Adelaide - Tidal Inundations and Floods
Reports of earlier inundations than that mentioned in Manning's Place Names
of South Australia are to be found in the Southern Australian,
13 June 1843, page 2b,
22 June 1847, page 3b,
10 May 1851, page 2c,
19 and 21 June 1851, pages 2e and 3e.
The Register of
21 July 1851, page 3b deplored the condition of its streets:
The depth of mud at the Port from actual measurement is in some places three
to four inches deep, on the main road four to ten inches and in many parts
close to the Customs House the pools obtain a depth of two feet...
The greatest sufferers, however, appear to have been the poor blacks.
They were politely "turned adrift" and, as one of them said,"Him plenty
very much big water come and take away poor blackman's wurley; you give
him bread; you plenty much gammons"... The natives in their fright left
the scene of inundation... but forgot to take their offspring who, but
for their lamentable cries, would have been drowned. Eventually, however,
they all found a "resting place" within the walls of the new Wesleyan Church
now in course of erection.
10 May 1851, page 6f; also see
19, 20 and 21 June 1851, pages 2f, 3c and 5e,
14 April 1853, page 3a and
SA Gazette & Mining Journal,
21 June 1851, page 3e.)
The Register of
14 April 1853, page 3c reports "an extraordinary tidal inundation at Port Adelaide"; also see
18 May 1859, page 3h.
The 1865 inundation is described and commented upon in the Register -
13 May, page 2f - "Water poured in upon the lower part of the Port with fearful rapidity..."; also see
15, 16, 17, 20, 22, 25 and 30 May, pages 2e, 2c-3e, 2d, 2d, 2f, 3d-3f and 3h,
10 June, page 3f; also see
13 and 16 May 1865, pages 2a and 3a.
A report on an "Inundation Relief Fund" is in the Register on
7 July 1865, page 2c; also see
15, 18 and 23 May 1865, pages 2b, 2e and 3a,
14 June 1865, page 2f.
A later inundation is described in the Register on 15 May 1877, page 5d and on the same day on page 6a is a humorous poem which reads in part:
Here no gondolier will guide you,
You must flounder ill at ease;
As the larrikins deride you,
Trousers tucked up to the knees.
Also see Register, 17 June 1901, page 4f under "An Abnormal Tide":
The water came up through the drains and flooded the northern side of Saint
Vincent Street and adjacent thoroughfares and the river was almost on a level
with the decks of the wharfs.
Also see Register,
18 June 1901, page 6b,
29 October 1901, page 8b,
15 July 1904, page 5e,
15 July 1904, page 6b,
27 August 1904, page 6f,
27 July 1917, page 6f,
24 September 1923, page 8b,
30 June 1931, page 1e.