In September 1906, heavy rainfall resulted in one of the most noteworthy floods to visit the northwest coast in years.
In Wilmot, the flood was at its highest in 45 years effectively washing away the Paloona bridge. Several other important bridges southeast of Devonport were also swept away thereby isolating Devonport and other communities.
Train lines were also flooded from Devonport to Latrobe and beyond to Railton.
There was damage to bridges crossing Rivers Gawler, Leven and Forth and much of the surrounding farmlands became submerged with significant damage to stock and dwellings.
At 4:00 am in the morning, residents at Latrobe awoke to the sound of water pouring into their dwellings at an alarming rate. Some residents had to be rescued by boat or cart.
In fact, large areas of the coastline were deluged by floods from from Deloraine all the way to Stanley.
At Liena, residents became isolated for more than a week after floodwaters had washed away the Mersey bridge. It was only when residents set to work to cut a tree and tie ropes to a stump before anyone could cross in a makeshift cradle on a pulley. It took a long time to pass the line. Finally one of the residents managed to cast a stone with the line attached to within a metre of the opposite bank. A resident on the other side promptly waded in and grabbed the line, and the rest was easy.
After testing the stability of the rig with a sack of stones, one by one each of the residents were able to make the crossing.
In the photo above, Mr and Mrs Stephens can be seen crossing the river.
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