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HEAVY rain over Rockhampton is stopping the recovery effort from the floods and increasing the possibility of more water leading to higher flood levels.
Flood waters at Rockhampton peaked yesterday, but it has been raining heavily in central Queensland‘s biggest town for several hours, with strong winds and lightning in the early morning.
The rain is putting at risk the recovery of the town of Theodore, which was evacuated last week as floodwaters rose, with plans to start moving people back into the town tomorrow being now reviewed.
A major problem is that the ground is already saturated or flooded, so rain falling now is adding directly to the floodwaters.
Rockhampton Mayor Brad Carter has warned the city could take a year to get back on its feet, adding that flood victims faced a long wait, possibly up to two weeks, before they could return home.
The BoM has warned water levels will remain above 8.5 metres until at least late next week.
“I think that this could drag on for 12 months,” Mr Carter told the Nine Network, adding it would be three weeks before the airport could be re-opened.
However, the flood peak for the southern inland town has been revised downwards, with the Balonne River now not expected to rise beyond 14 metres.
“The information we had originally was 14 metres on Saturday, and possibly that could creep just above that on Monday or Tuesday,” Balonne Shire Mayor Donna Stewart told the ABC.
But the latest advice was that the peak would be under 14 metres, she said. At 14 metres, only about 30 homes would be affected.
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