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Rain and Flooding
Queensland
Australia Natural Disasters

What caused the Brisbane floods in January 1974?

Answer

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January 10, 2011 11:49PM

Brisbane's floods of 1974 were the result of an unusual situation. Whilst the depression which dumped hundreds of millimetres of rain as a result of Cyclone Wanda was unprecedented, it was made more catastrophic by the fact that it had already been a very wet year thourghout the eastern states beforehand. The ground was waterlogged, and simply could not absorb any more water.

The floods were made worse by the fact that a huge container ship broke loose from the shipyards, and wedged itself across the Brisbane River just before the mouth. This prevented the escape of the water to the sea, exacerbating the floods in the CBD.