Territory Stories

Katherine Times Wed 24 Jan 2018



Katherine Times Wed 24 Jan 2018


Katherine Times; NewspaperNT






Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Katherine; Katherine (N.T.) -- Newspapers

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North Australian News for Katherine Times

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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North Australian News for Katherine Times



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'98 FLOOD- 20 YEARS ON Wednesday January 24, 2018KATHERINETIMES8 katherinetimes.com.au FIRST EDITION: Vince and Jill Fardone with the first newspaper published after the flood, keeping residents informed through the emergency. WASH CYCLE: These clothes in Giles Street were caught in the flood as well. UNDER WATER: The Katherine Times was under water along with other CBD shops during the '98 flood. Finding a place to sleep ALICE Nolan was working as a reporter with the Katherine Times when her office, and most of the town,went under water in 1998. There were quite a few official warnings but the older residents kept saying not to worry, it wont flood. Alice only kept her job a few months after the flood, as businesses cut back to try and keep going. I wasnt alone, lots of people had to leave. For the past decade she has worked in Mount Isa, now working as the elector ate officer for colourful federal MP Bob Katter. Alice took a remarkable photograph of a towel hanging on the outside clothes line after the flood water receded. The discloured towel clearly shows the water level from the Katherine River as it flowed through her Giles Street unit. I lost everything, absolutely everything. When the flood water came into the main street we took off for Katherine East, out of the water, she said. Ms Nolan said there was little time for anyone to res cuemuch from their homes. Most people were told to put their belongings as high as possible to keep out of the floodwaters reach, not knowing the flood would reach to the roof and destroy everything. Like many residents, Ms Nolan was encouraged to move out to Katherine East to keep out of the floodwater. I stayed in a friends house on the floor for a day until it flooded then we had to move to another house to stay on their floor. Alice remembers how desperate Katherine was for help in the early days as the water receded leaving the town destroyed. I lined up like everyone else in a queue, after two hours waiting in the queue I got two potatoes and an orange, she said. That was for a household with seven people to feed, everybody was in the same boat, there was not much of anything. The worst thing I remember was scooping mud out of my house and sometimes finding it was not mud but excrement, the sewerage just flowed through the town. Ms Nolan said the NT Government helped the newspaper publish again as soon as possible after it too was wiped out. Unfortunately there was not enough money for wages to keep her own after a fewmonths. Ms Nolan said she regrettedhaving to leaveKatherine. It was definitely a unique place to live and work. I do remember how everyone made the best of it, it was just awful and no-one was ready for it. But we all had to line up together,we all to put upwith the risk of disease and cleaning out mud, and working in pretty horrific conditions. People in town were not prepared back then I hope thats changed today, Ms Nolan said. FLOOD HEIGHT: It wasn't just the CBD which was flooded but residential areas also had a wall of water through them as this Giles Street clothes line shows. Picture: Alice Nolan. Sleeping was difficult. BY CHRIS MCLENNAN