Lake Macquarie History

Marks Point Flood

Recollections of the 1949 flood, Emily Street, Marks Point

by James Elliott

In the early hours of a June morning in 1949 my father arrived home from his afternoon shift at Ryland Bros. On this occasion he had taken the bus to work instead of riding his pushbike due to heavy rains that we had been experiencing in the Marks Point area.

photo: 1949 floodwaters

Upon his arrival home, he and mum started packing up furniture to save it from the rising water which had just entered our home. Dad also put our outdoor toilet pan up out of the reach of the water so it would not float away. Later we heard a thump, thump from under the house – a neighbour’s pan had made its way under our floorboards and was rising and falling in the floodwaters.

The next day dad knocked a few palings off the fence that was near the lake’s edge and rowed our boat around to the door where we boarded it to be rowed to the main street and then on to some friend’s where we stayed for a few nights while the water receded.

As a young boy at the time it seemed a bit adventuresome, but a few years later when I saw the flood that Maitland suffered it made me realise that what we went through was insignificant to what others did at Maitland. By that time we had a home and my parents put their names down to billet Maitland flood victims.

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