Patrick Bowen takes a look at the flood waters surging down the Fitzroy River
Patrick Bowen takes a look at the flood waters surging down the Fitzroy River Sharyn O'Neill

Rocky braces for flood

FLOODING in Rockhampton could reach 2008 levels later this week as the Fitzroy River continued to rise in the wake of heavy rain.

The local disaster management committee will meet this morning to gauge the likelihood of parts of Rockhampton being flooded. The Bureau of Meteorology said yesterday that slow river rises would continue at Rockhampton this week and possibly approach the minor flood level of seven metres later in the week.

The rising level was the result of heavy rainfall in the Fitzroy catchment area which includes major tributaries, the Dawson, Mackenzie and Connors rivers.

Rockhampton Regional Council State Emergency Service local controller Eddie Cowie said they were at the “watch stage”.

“We're leaning forward. We're not activated but we're watching and planning for the possibilities,” he said.

“Our concern would be whatever rainfall that might fall in the catchment area within the next days.”

Today and tomorrow's forecast is for isolated showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon in the region.

Yesterday afternoon at Riverslea the Bureau of Meteorology reported the river height was 16.06m and rising at minor flood level.

More than 280,000 megalitres were flowing through the river compared to 185,720 on Saturday morning.

However, at Rockhampton the river was 5.15m and falling.

Mayor Brad Carter said they would be in a position to gauge the flood level after an update on the results of modelling at today's disaster management meeting.

Cr Carter said the projected flooding was five to seven days away and water coming downstream was of a similar level to when the experienced flooding in 2008.

“We've got several days to model and analyse the flows,” he said.

In February 2008, 38 Rockhampton homes were cut off when the river height was 7.5m which is classified a moderate flood level.

Mr Cowie said they attended more than 100 call-outs on Friday after the region received 86mm of rain in the 34 hours leading up to Friday night.

He said 50 to 60% of the call-outs related to localised flooding, although no families were evacuated from their homes.

Fitzroy forecast

What's coming

The bureau has forecast isolated afternoon showers and storms today and tomorrow.

River levels

Fitzroy at Riverslea: 16.06m at 5pm – rising – minor flood level

Nogoa River at Duck Ponds (Comet) – 13.53m at 5pm – stable

Dawson River at Beckers – 7.89m – rising



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