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River Murray floods, 1956
Title : River Murray floods, 1956 River Murray floods, 1956
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Creator : Casson, Laurence S.
Source : PRG 1287
Date of creation : 1956
Format : Film
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
The State Library of South Australia is keen to find out more about SA Memory items. We encourage you to contact the Library if you have additional information about any of these items.
Donated by : Laurence Casson
Copyright :

Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This footage may be viewed for personal research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form

Description :

The 1956 River Murray flood is considered to be the greatest natural catastrophe in South Australia's history and is the largest flood ever recorded in the state. The flood peaked 12.3 metres at Morgan.

It occurred as a result of excessive and late rains in the western districts of Queensland, and heavy rains commencing three months earlier than usual in the Murray catchment areas. The Darling and the Murray were both in high flood at the same time.

During floods the waters in the River Murray system spread out below Tocumwal in NSW and engulf the Edward and Wakool rivers, forming one huge lake which helps to control flooding further downsteam by acting as a natural reservoir. In 1956 the usual spread of waters below Tocumwal could not hold the quantity of water and the swollen river raced on its way though South Australia (Mortimer, p 7, 1985) causing widespread damage to agricultural properties and townships.

This flood resulted in the construction of the Menindee Lakes storage areas to store high Darling River flows.

Part one shows scenes in the towns of Mannum and Renmark, the first irrigation settlement in Australia. In part two the filmmaker took to the air for a birdseye view of the impact the flood had on towns and farms along the River.


The State Library of South Australia holds 48 film reels (available on video tape) taken by Laurence S Casson between 1934-1976. Casson's recordings show Pinnaroo and the surrounding district, family occasions and various South Australian events.
Subjects
Coverage year : 1956
Region : Riverland and Murraylands
Further reading :

Grosvenor, G. Arch. The Murray pioneer 1956-57 flood diary / compiled by G. Arch Grosvenor [Renmark, S. Aust.: Murray Pioneer Pty. Ltd.], 1957

Floods in South Australia, 1836-2005 / David McCarthy, Tony Rogers, Keith Casperson. [Kent Town, S. Aust.] : Bureau of Meterology, [South Australian Regional Office], 2006

Harrison, G. L, 1957 Report on the River Murray flood problem, with particular reference to the 1956 flood, Maribyrnong: Dept. of Defence Production, Central Drawing Office

Mortimer, Peg. Flood, Riverlanders face the flood of fifty-six, Berri, S.A.: P. Mortimer, c1985

River Murray floods, 1956: a pictorial record of the South Australian section of the River Murray during the floods of 1956 [Adelaide, S. Aust.?: s.n., 1957?]

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