Katherine Times Wed 24 Jan 2018
Katherine Times; NewspaperNT
Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Katherine; Katherine (N.T.) -- Newspapers
North Australian News for Katherine Times
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North Australian News for Katherine Times
TALES FROMTHE TOP END LIFE Wednesday January 24, 2018 KATHERINETIMES 11katherinetimes.com.au Town built on flood plain KATHERINE is famously built on a flood plain. It was also the best spot to cross the river before we had the concrete and steel bridges that we enjoy today. I wonder how long it took before people realised it was built in the wrong spot. The worst flooding of a sizeable settlement in Australias history in 1998 rammed that home. And just in case 98 was considered a fluke, 2006 came along and everyone knew then it was time to lift Katherines skirts and hightail it. Not too far mind, just a bit further east, Katherine East to be exact. You couldnt call the evacuation quick. The high school, police and ambulance stations are in the clear but most everything else would be marooned again. The hospital is a case in point. Its still on the river bank, vulnerable as ever. Almost a third of the towns population left after 98 and only now, two decades later, have we recovered to where we were. Without the militarys need for a squadron of jet fighters just where they might be neededmost, in the north but a little off the coast for added safety, Katherines recovery would have delayed for years yet. Lots of people say without Tindal, Katherine may never have recovered. We have spoken to a lot of people in the last few weeks about the 98 flood as part of our 20th year coverage and there is still fear in those eyes. If you were not here in 98, and most of us werent, talk to an oldtimer about it. Read our stories about it. Examine all the pic tures closely. Disaster is no understate ment. This was a tragedy on so many levels. Deaths, three people drowned there was hardly any warning. The Katherine is not a river like a Murray River which takes weeks to build up a head of steam to become a 1956 flood. Katherine River went from two metres to over 20 in a couple of days. Total loss, total. Queuing for food, the town was reduced to a third world habitation at best. Sloshing about in sewerage. Not everyone was insured for flood. Those that were, werent according to many insurance companies. Its a wonder there werent riots. Unimaginable, a Cyclone Tracy type disaster. Through your stories, your pictures we hope people can imagine it, they can take a glimpse back in time. Theres a lot still to be done, the flood plain hasnt moved, the risks are just as great. WET FEET: The Katherine River can be hard to cross in the wet season, even with steel and concrete bridges. This from 2006. By CHRIS McLENNAN Building ApprovalsNT Katherine Based Building Certifiers Building Permits - Residential and Commercial Unrestricted Building Certifiers Occupancy Permits Katherine Annette Suchowski Jason Hillier 08 8971 3000 0427 915 792 BuildingapprovalsNT@bigpond.com Professional, Qualified & Insured A W 34 44 54 4 AUSTRALIA DAY Raffle $5 a ticket 3rd Prize Bottle of bubbles and chocolates 1st prize 1 night at the TFE Hotels & a Harbor Sunset Buffet cruise for 2 2nd Prize Dinner for 2 at the Katherine country club Information for Members and Bonafide Guests KATHERINE COUNTRY CLUB 26TH JANUARY Aussie BBQ Adults $20 Kids $10 Under 5 free Free Family Event Best Dressed competitions Pool/water slide Games and Comps Meat tray raffles Golf Buggy Rides Toad Race Music Eating Competitions Crazy AUS hair AW3316273
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