One year on

June 6, 2016, is a day that will forever be remembered in Tasmania.

Countless homes were flooded and businesses destroyed when the state was hit by the worst floods in 100 years.

In a turn of events labelled unprecedented by the Bureau of Meteorology, the state’s major rivers - the North Esk, South Esk, Meander, Mersey, Forth, Macquarie and Derwent rivers - were simultaneously placed on major flood alerts.

More than 100 homes across the North and North-West were inundated with floodwater, causing State Emergency Service crews to evacuate residents at Newstead, Latrobe and Wynyard.

The North Esk River overflows into a residence on Glenwood Road at St Leonards. Picture: Paul Scambler


The North Esk River overflows into a residence on Glenwood Road at St Leonards. Picture: Paul Scambler

East Coast residents also felt the treacherous conditions as the Scamander River broke its banks early on June 6.

Later that evening, the South Esk River at Longford exceeded the minor flood level of 3.5 metres, and the Trevallyn Dam was spilling water down through Cataract Gorge to Launceston

Tasmanians showed their true grit as they risked their lives to protect family, friends, neighbours, pets and livestock.

St Leonards man Phil Boxhall trudged through rising waters to help rescue his friend’s neighbour’s sheep.

“They were pretty scared, they kept running away but they’d get tangled up [in the debris]. Once they got back on dry land they were okay, I think they were happy to be out of it,” Mr Boxhall said at the time.

A residence on Glenwood Road at St Leonards inundated by water spilling from the North Esk River. Picture: Paul Scambler

A residence on Glenwood Road at St Leonards inundated by water spilling from the North Esk River. Picture: Paul Scambler

Search crews worked day and night to locate three people declared missing during the floods.

Tragic news of missing man Peter Watson’s final moments before being swept away in floodwaters shook the community.

The 63-year-old, of Scottsdale, was delivering papers with his partner when his van was inundated by surging waters at Evandale about 3am on June 7.

Mr Watson’s partner, Karen Cassidy, was plucked from the water by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter at first light.

Crews worked around the clock. Picture: Scott Gelston

Crews worked around the clock. Picture: Scott Gelston

Sadly, police located the body of 75-year-old woman Mary Kathleen Allford at her Shale Road home at Latrobe.

Nearly a month of extensive searching by Tasmania Police and SES crews failed to locate Ouse man Trevor Foster who was swept away in floodwaters on June 6, 2016.

Floodwater consumed Launceston’s Cataract Gorge with residents warned to keep away from the landmark.
Video taken June 7, 2016

The South Esk River peaked overnight, with authorities confirming the waterflow in the North Esk River on June 7 exceeded that seen during Tasmania’s 1929 floods that killed 100 people.

The waterflow in some catchments was described by SES Northern manager Mhairi Revie as being the equivalent of 2800 small cars filled with water travelling downstream every second.

SES Northern manager Mhairi Revie addressing the media on June 7, 2016. 

SES Northern manager Mhairi Revie addressing the media on June 7, 2016. 

An eerie feeling blanketed the North as floodgates were installed on the Charles Street Bridge at 7pm on June 7.

Video taken June 8, 2016.

Emergency crews worked around the clock to assist hundreds of Tasmanians.

Northern Tasmanians armed their homes and businesses with sandbags in an attempt to secure their property. Picture: Scott Gelston

Northern Tasmanians armed their homes and businesses with sandbags in an attempt to secure their property. Picture: Scott Gelston

Forth vegetable producer Harvest Moon was hit with hundreds of thousands of dollars damage from floodwaters.

Harvest Moon leek crops were ruined in by floodwaters. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Harvest Moon leek crops were ruined in by floodwaters. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Their offices along with more than 120 hectares of land was submerged.

Farmers were given momentary relief thanks to a $25,000 donation from the state government to the Rural Relief Fund.

Premier Will Hodgman and Tasmania Police Commander Brett Smith at the SES headquarters, Youngtown. Picture: Scott Gelston

Premier Will Hodgman and Tasmania Police Commander Brett Smith at the SES headquarters, Youngtown. Picture: Scott Gelston

Premier Will Hodgman announced $750 in emergency aid would be available to families affected by the state’s floods through Service Tasmania.

A year on and the 2016 floods remain a vivid memory for Tasmanians
Our thoughts are with all those impacted by the state's worst deluge in 100 years