City braces for a bigger flood
ROCKHAMPTON'S disaster management team meets this morning amid concerns that the city could be about to face another major flood.
Experts yesterday revised their prediction of how much water was due to sweep down the Fitzroy River and into low-lying parts of Rockhampton.
The Bureau of Meteorology said it expected the peak to be "around eight metres" on Thursday or Friday next week.
Mayor Brad Carter, chairman of the Local Disaster Management Group, hinted the peak could be higher as a consequence of the massive amount of rain that battered the catchment on Wednesday.
"There is still a degree of uncertainty around this prediction as heavy falls were received yesterday around Emerald and the other systems have yet to reach their peaks," he said.
"We do not expect to have an accurate likely flood peak until the river peaks at Yatton, which is expected this Friday night."
He said the disaster management group would also meet on Saturday morning to receive the latest prediction and advise the community what it could expect.
Flood maps showing the parts of the city that will go under in a flood of eight and 8.5 metres have been placed in shopping centres, community centres and libraries and can also be viewed at City Hall.
The impact on the city of an eight-metre flood is considerably greater than one of 7.5 metres.
It would mean, for example, the evacuation of the caravan park on the northern bank, and council data suggests 422 residential properties and 277 blocks of vacant land would be inundated.
In February 2008, a flood peak of 7.75 metres caused widespread disruption, closing scores of residential streets. Hundreds of homes were impacted.
Rockhampton Regional Council will deliver sand today to three locations for residents who fear the worst.
Residents can attend at the corner of Dean and Rodboro Sts, on Lion Creek Rd at the rear entrance to the showgrounds, and at the car park near the Gracemere swimming pool. People are encouraged to bring their own bags and shovels.
Householders can also call the SES on 132 500 for sandbags and tarps to protect their properties in emergencies (Rockhampton Regional Council).