EVACUATE NOW: Rockhampton residents given last chance to get out
IT'S now or never.
A revised flood prediction says the Fitzroy River will peak at 9m (down from 9.4m) on Wednesday, but authorities are still urging people to use common sense and evacuate.
The Fitzroy at Rockhampton is currently 6.85m, 15cm below the major flood level.
Rockhampton's Local Disaster Management Committee chairman Tony Williams said while there wouldn't be forced evacuations, people who chose to stay in flood affected areas put a strain on emergency services.
"Emergency services have their hands full with a lot of the actual operations and making our community safe," he said.
"Those kinds of things take up resources and we do encourage people in those areas to think very carefully and make those decisions prior to getting halfway through the flood and realising it isn't working and wanting to get out of there and having to take up those resources to evacuate them."
With the new flood figures, 2,117 homes and 1209 commercial properties will be affected and 217 homes and 120 commercial properties will have waters above the floorboards.
Capricornia Police District Superintendent Ron Van Saane said the police service's biggest challenge during the floods will be keeping people who have chosen to stay in flooded areas safe.
"We'll have to treat them as a priority when the waters come up because it can become quite dangerous and life threatening for them," Supt Van Saane said.
"We don't want to enforce these sorts of evacuations because people have reasons to do this, we believe that it is their right and we also accept and understand why some people want to do this...
"I understand all the reasons, I just stress they consider it."
Residents who choose to leave are urged to stay with friends or family, but an evacuation centre has been opened at the Robert Schwarten Pavilion at the Rockhampton Showgrounds as a last resort.
"(The evacuation centre) is a big drain on resources, it is there for a reason and it's there to assist those in the greatest need," Supt Van Saane said.
"In a community like Rockhampton where I know everyone is quite close and everyone knows each other we (should) draw on each other's assistance..."