Rocky receding: Fitzroy River to fall below moderate flood level

The Fitzroy River in Rockhampton will continue to recede and will fall below the moderate flood level on Monday after reaching its major flood peak of 8.8 metres on Thursday, as residents brace themselves for the floodwater aftermath.

Bureau of Meteorology said in a statement that The Fitzroy River “is currently at 8.10 metres with moderate flooding.”

“The river level at Rockhampton is expected to fall below the moderate flood level (7.50 metres) during Monday,” they said.

It was expected around 200 homes and businesses would be inundated with floodwaters, while 3000 homes and businesses have been affected by the rising water, as Central Queensland continued to feel the effects of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

RACQ’s Renee Smith has warned of the dangers that driving in floodwaters possess and has pleaded with residents in Rockhampton to stay off the roads until it was safe to drive.

“We’ve seen countless vehicles lost to floodwaters during Ex-Cyclone Debbie’s wrath and we certainly don’t want to see any more in Rocky in the coming days,” Ms Smith said.

“It’s not just the strain on emergency services if you need to be rescued, but it can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your vehicle.

“The fact is once floodwater reaches the lower levels of car doors or enters the interior, a mechanic will have to see it before you can safely drive again.

“We just ask that motorists use common sense when driving while floodwaters persist. The risk far outweighs the gain and we’re urging people to be aware of just how dangerous driving through these conditions can be. If it’s flooded, please just forget it.”

It was not just roads that residents of Rockhampton had to consider in the coming days with the airport to be cut off for a prolonged period of time.

However, as reported by The Morning Bulletin, an innovative solution has been put in place to allow people to still catch flights out of Rockhampton.

Rockhampton Airport has been closed since Monday 03 April 2017. Photo: Queensland Fire and Emergency.

The ‘Gladstone Solution’, as dubbed by Rockhampton Regional Councillor Scott Waters, would see a shopping centre becoming an airport drop-off.

Stockland Rockhampton would be the hub for a shuttle service to run passengers to Gladstone Airport with increased flights to be set up to run out of Gladstone.

“It’s set to be a challenging few days for the people of Rockhampton, but if the spirit of Queensland already witnessed post-Debbie is anything to go by, the city will come together and fight on,” Ms Smith said.