UPDATES: Councillor Tony Williams has provided key updates following the Local Disaster Management Group meeting.
UPDATES: Councillor Tony Williams has provided key updates following the Local Disaster Management Group meeting. Allan Reinikka ROK030417awilliam

'Serious flood' puts 2000 out of work

11.45AM: CQUNIVERSITY has confirmed its two Rockhampton campuses remain open this week.

But Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman said if any staff or students were personally impacted by flooded roads or a threat to their property, they should not travel to campus until safe to do so.

11.30AM: UP TO 2000 people can't work as the Fitzroy River rises in a natural disaster that Rockhampton Regional Mayor Margaret Strelow said would have a serious impact on the region.

It may not be a record-breaker but authorities warned Rockhampton residents not to underestimate the impact or get complacent as waters creep into the city's streets.

The predicted peak was this morning revised from 9.4m down to 9.0m but Cr Strelow said it would still be a significant natural disaster.

Her comments come as Teys' Rockhampton this morning announced its temporary closure.

"It's obviously not going to be the record-breaking flood that was being talked about and no, we're not all being airlifted out,” she said.

"But it is a serious flood.

"There will be anywhere up to 2000 jobs that aren't going to be working for the next week or so, 600 just at Hastings Deering alone.

"So 9.0m is significant on our economy and the amount of time our water stays up is part of the impact.

"I know it's not as sudden or dramatic as the flooding in other areas, you can see it coming gradually, we know where it's going to go to within a centimetre usually.

"But the fact that those businesses are out of action and not able to contribute to the local economy is quite significant.”

At the 9.0m level, the Bruce Hwy into Rockhampton is not expected to be cut.

"Always when airports or roads are closed there's an impact,” Cr Strelow said.

"We're working closely with the airports on alternative arrangements.

"We've got a great operational airport a bit over an hour away in Gladstone.

"But nobody coming in makes the difference.”

This morning's Local Disaster Management Group meeting, chaired by councillor Tony Williams, included several key updates.

Don't be a rubbernecker

Council and flood-affected residents have a strong message for sightseers - stay away.

Cr Williams said people driving through flood waters to get a look at damage could do further harm to flooded houses.

"There's no need for it and we're urging residents to stay out of those areas and leave those residents be,” he said.

" They've got enough to deal with without having to deal with issues like that as well.”

Electricity and water supply

Cr Strelow said some homes would still lose power but Ergon Energy was working closely with those in affected areas to restrict the loss of power to individual properties.

"I think there's about 100 at the moment that have turned off,” Cr Strelow said.

"There will be more that will go today because of course Ergon staff can't wade through water or go and do disconnections of an evening but it is nuanced and very particular.”

The city's water treatment plants remain well above the predicted peak and Cr Strelow said they would continue to operate as normal.

Evacuation centre

The evacuation centre at the Robert Schwarten Pavilion at the Rockhampton Showgrounds is open but so far only one resident has checked in.

However Cr Williams said many more were expected, with 200-300 people taking up residence during the 2011 floods.

Large livestock, including horses and cattle, are also being held at the showgrounds.

Find out what you need to bring to the evacuation centre here.



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