Australian floods: Your stories
- 5 January 2011
- From the section Asia-Pacific
Flood preparations in the Australian city of Rockhampton are being put to the test with water levels peaking.
The Fitzroy river which flows through the Queensland city is at 9.2m (30ft) having already swamped hundreds of acres.
The state is in the grip of a flood crisis, with some 40 communities hit and 1,200 homes submerged. BBC News website readers are in Rockhampton share their stories:
I have been helping evacuate people from their homes, prone to the risk of floods. We stop people going into dangerous water, with snakes etc and make sure the elderly are OK, we also help to make up sandbags. Everyone is so helpful, the community really rally together, they bake us cakes for when we arrive.
We work alongside the police, council and fire service as stand by. We sent five appliances the other day to pump water out of houses.
We were told the water is at a high of 9.2m rather than the 9.4m as predicted. We are expecting the peak tonight. It is then thought the water will drop by a metre and stay at that level for a week.
This is when it will really smell and the mosquitoes will be everywhere.
The real work will start when the clean up process begins. In the bad parts the water comes up to your chest. I live 40km away from the city centre, we are high and dry, we have a Queenslander house which is on stilts.
I work for the Auxiliary Fire Brigade.
We are all volunteers. In times of need or crisis, we don't do our normal jobs, instead we rally around to help the local community.
I live in Yeppoon, about 35km away from Rockhampton. I went there today to have a look around, without getting under the feet of the emergency services. You wouldn't believe there was such bad flooding there. Living where I am, which hasn't been flooded, there's less food on the supermarket shelves as people are prepared for it, just in case.
They think the Fitzroy River has peaked. I have never seen it so high. I have been here for ten years now. There were a few streets flooded and the water had gone over and past some sand bags. They always built Queenslanders there (houses on stilts) because of the floods, but in the last few years they must have got lazy and have built low set homes, these have flooded.
I am a licensed snake catcher. I rescue and look after them. I was employed by a company to go through their waste land to catch any snakes. I want to educate people about snakes. There are so many myths about them and many of the locals think the only good snake is a dead one. I would like to remind people that over 75% of snakebites in Australia occur when someone is either trying to catch or kill a snake.
The general perception in this area is that all snakes are bad and all they want to do is kill you. I get many reports from people who claim to have been chased by a snake. Snakes do not chase people, they are more afraid of us than we are of them.
The fact is both the snake and the person were probably 'running' in the same direction. I think it's amazing that the wildlife are so patient. In these times of floods, the koalas, wallabies and kangaroos just wait on the sidelines for the waters to go down, so they can get on with life.
My boyfriend and I are currently in Rockhampton and have been here for two weeks. We work on stations in North West Queensland and are here for our holidays but my boyfriend and I are originally from England (Dorset and Yorkshire).
We are currently staying at the Oxford Hotel which is on the south side of Rocky but the water hasn't reached where we are. People are taking it in their stride, and some have coped with this before and see it as just a part of living in Rocky. I don't think that we have seen the worst yet because the water level hasn't dropped and therefore we can't see the damage that has been done.
We are hoping to help with the clean up, and are really feeling for people whose houses have been flooded. People in Rocky have been fantastic, banding together to help out their neighbours. Tonight the Oxford Hotel will be trying to raise some money for the flood relief by hosting a live music event.
The community spirit here is fantastic. It's unbelievable how quickly the river has risen, the sheer volume of water that is flowing and how dirty it is.