Brisbane River Floods

Moggill, Bellbowrie and surrounding areas have regularly experienced floods during more than 17 decades of European occupation.

Further Reading Material

1893 Flood

The multiple floods of 1893, as shown on this Government map, were the highest documented. The Brisbane River burst its banks on three occasions in February 1893 which saw the period named “Black February”. There was also a fourth flood event in June. Although coal mines were flooded in Ipswich, there is no record of damage or loss of life in the Moggill district, despite one flood reaching 24.5m.

Brisbane River flood map 1893 (QSA Item ID 1138606)

1974 Flood

The 1974 floods which arrived just as the new suburb of Bellbowrie was emerging, remain in the memories of many as the waters rose around new houses and the yet-to-open shopping centre.
Tragically, Army reservists Corporal Neville Hourigan and Captain Ian Kerr were killed when their LARC amphibious craft, on a mission to rescue an elderly man with a heart complaint, contacted a fallen high voltage power line in Pullen Pullen Creek.

Read more about the LARC incident here.

Flooded houses on
Birkin Rd, Bellbowrie

The new Bellbowrie shopping Centre (from Sugarwood Road) was flooded

LARC 1 before accident: One of the two Army LARCS which assisted during the 1974 floods

(Courtesy of Roger Todd)
(Courtesy of Roger Todd)
(Courtesy of Roger Todd)
Aerial view of Bellbowrie flooded in 1974
An aerial view of Bellbowrie in January 1974. Moggill Road runs across the photo and the newly opened shopping centre is seen submerged just beyond the road on the right. (Courtesy of Bob Hughes)
Flood map of Brisbane showing the extent of the January 1974 Brisbane River flood. The map extends as far as Fig Tree Pocket. (Queensland State Archives Series ID 1748)

2011 Flood

In January 2011, massive flooding isolated Bellbowrie, Anstead and Moggill from the rest of Brisbane.

Torrential rainfall during December caused an ‘inland tsunami’ to run through the Lockyer Valley and combine with a rapidly rising Bremer River and water cascading out of an overfull Wivenhoe Dam. As a result of this unprecedented flow of water, the lower levels of the area were flooded. Over 100 homes were lost and some 290 residents displaced.

The “Island In The Flood” book presents the stories and photographs from 2011, updated in to include the class action against the operators of Wivenhoe Dam.

An aerial photograph of the river and Moggill Ferry taken at the height of the flood. (Courtesy of Peter Reid)
The spectacular appearance of floods around the McIntyre Centre. (Courtesy of Monica do Rozario)
Coles Supermarket was completely inundated. (Courtesy of Sue Wallis)

2022 Flood

A low-pressure system caused over 400 mm of rain to be dumped across the greater Brisbane area in late February 2022. River levels in the CBD rose to over 3.8m causing widespread flooding and resultant damage in central Brisbane. Moggill and the surrounding areas were once again cut off, but no houses were inundated.

Moggill Road leading out of Bellbowrie 2022
Moggill Road leading out of Bellbowrie, completely impassable for over a kilometre (courtesy of ABC/Leoni Mellor)