Here's a thing about floods: they produce myths and misconceptions. Hunter River floods certainly do. One type of misconception is the 'myth of explanation', which arises as people try to make sense of flooding.
A rumour to this effect developed quickly as the flood ravaged Singleton, Maitland and other places. Some still believe in it today.
Full article by Chas Keys, Maitland Mercury, Feb. 22, 2013.