Queensland, December 1916

Flood - Clermont and Peak downs

Quick Statistics

61 Fatalities

On 27 December 1916, a cyclone in the Whitsunday Passage led to cyclonic rains and then flooding in Clermont, Sapphire and Peak Downs. Rivers including the Mackenzie, Comet, Nogoa and Barcoo broke their banks causing widespread casualties, damage and destruction to property and stock.

Between 5 pm on 28 December and 8 am the following morning, 21 inches of rain had fallen in Clermont.
Floodwaters rose nearly nine feet in half an hour, washing away whole families taking shelter on rooftops.

Lower Clermont was submerged and the town was afterwards built on higher ground. Flood victims were given a land grant subject to building within twelve months, however, the high cost of materials as a result of the war meant many had to forfeit their land.

Sixty one people died in the flood


Information Sources

Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland flood summary 1910-1919, website viewed 29 April 2011

Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Travel Clermont’, 8 February 2004, website viewed 5 May 2011

The Longreach Leader, ‘Graphic Flood Story – Clermont Disaster of 1916’, 10 December 1947, viewed on Trove (ID 126640670, website viewed 19 January 2015