EXERCISE: A temporary flood barrier will be trialled in North Rockhampton this week.
EXERCISE: A temporary flood barrier will be trialled in North Rockhampton this week. Contributed

If we had a flood tomorrow could council protect 500 homes?

COUNCILLORS are fielding phone calls from North Rockhampton locals anxious to know their fate heading into this year's wet season.

But Rockhampton Regional Council Infrastructure Committee members fear that offering solutions before December may be "putting the cart before the horse".

Satisfied that the first stage of North Rockhampton flood mitigation had been successful, the committee has now turned its attention to Stage 2.

The 2017 flood was the first opportunity for combined services to apply in real life the training exercises that prepared them for a major river/rain event.

Council and emergency service workers assembled a temporary levee on top of the Lakes Creek embankment and activated backflow valves to protect 400 homes previously unprotected from floodwaters.

Local and State Government co-funded $3 million for Stage 1, which also refurbished sewers.

"Prior to these repairs, dirty water was bubbling out of drains around people's homes," councillor Tony Williams said at this week's committee meeting.

The council will receive a final report in December on how to best protect a further 96 residences under Stage 2, but it is unclear what they would do if a worst-case scenario presented itself in the meantime.

Mayor Margaret Strelow questioned whether, "if we had a flood event tomorrow", council had sufficient resources in place to cover all 500 residents.

It was unclear whether relocating the temporary levee atop the Water St roadworks would leave Stage 1 residents exposed.

And until Stage 2 receives more funding, the council claims it is unable to install the new pipes that will remove the water that drains into low- lying areas such as Elizabeth Park.

Works are under way to raise Water St, on which a temporary levee would be rested, to a "Q100" level, measured in relation to the infamous flood that sweep through the region in 1918, reaching a peak of 10.11m.

North Rockhampton flood management plan

Further works may include:

Raising and reconstruction of a section of Water Street and relocation of the temporary flood barrier location to Water Street to protect an additional 97 residential and commercial buildings,

Installation of stormwater and sewerage pump stations to reduce the risk of flooding of the protected area from local rainfall when the river is in flood and to further reduce the risk of sewerage surcharge in the protected areas, and

Potential installation of valves on the sewerage network to further control backflow and ongoing programs to reduce stormwater and floodwater infiltration and inflow into the sewerage network