Elevated view of Toorak Road, H12669
It’s been a cold July in Victoria but at least we’re not rowing in the streets- like they were in Melbourne in 1891. Non stop rain over a weekend saw the Yarra break its bank and flood surrounding suburbs- leaving thousands homeless.
Gippsland Times, Wednesday 15 July 1891
‘The great flood of July 1891 in the river Yarra will be noted…a very sad event in the history of the district. Rain commenced to fall at midnight on Friday, and continued without a break until Sunday night…’ (The Prahran Telegraph)
Punt Road, looking from raised ground towards flooded street, H12670
‘The fine weather enabled crowds of people to watch the progress of the flood. South Yarra was the chief centre of interest and thousands of persons journeyed there by train and tram and looked out upon the curious scene which the locality presented…The water extended past the Punt Road railway bridge near the Richmond station and was many feet deep in the ground floor of many houses…’ (The Bendigo Independent).
Particularly affected were the low-lying suburbs of Collingwood, Richmond, South Yarra and South Melbourne. In South Yarra, more than a thousand people were homeless and three people died. (Yarra: a diverting history, p. 77)
The great flood, July 1891, Clara St., South Yarra , H2001.60/42
The Library holds other images of the 1891 flood, as well as floods in Echuca, the Murray River and the Goulburn River. In 1872 an enquiry was conducted into the cause of the periodical floods in the river Yarra.