Thunderstorms To Lash Flooded Rockhampton

"(SMH)
Rockhampton’s flood victims are facing a soggy mop up with thunderstorms predicted, a day after the Fitzroy River reached its peak in central Queensland.

The Fitzroy River hovered at 9.2 metres yesterday, below the 9.4m peak predicted - a height last seen in 1954.

Bureau of Meteorology hydrologist Ian Rocca said the peak level had dipped to 9.15 metres at 6am (AEST) today. Heavy rain battered parts of Rockhampton overnight.

Stanwell, southwest of the city, recorded 50mm since 9am (AEST) today while Mundic Gully had 69mm. Mr Rocca said the rainfall was not expected to put further pressure on the swollen river.

‘‘The rain we had overnight should not affect existing flood levels in the Fitzroy River at Rockhampton,’’ he said. ‘‘There should be some small rises down the Dawson River.’’

Senior forecaster Bryan Rolstone said more heavy showers are on the cards for Rockhampton on Thursday.

‘‘This afternoon there will be thunderstorms, that will be the pattern for the next few days,’’ Mr Rolstone said. ‘‘The thunderstorms could be severe [but the storm cells] haven’t formed yet... there could be heavy rain associated with it.’’

Rockhampton mayor Brad Carter has predicted the flood-devastated city could take 12 months to get back on its feet. He said 200 homes may have been spared because the river did not rise to the predicted peak of 9.4 metres.

‘‘It’s very good news. It looks like it’s peaked, it’s plateaued and it’s showing signs of dropping,’’ he told the Nine Network this morning. "