Rockhampton police fine rubberneckers

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(AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Rockhampton police have fined several people for ignoring warnings to stay away from flooded areas as the city's streets slowly go under due to the rising Fitzroy River.

The Fitzroy hit 8.45 metres at 1pm on Wednesday, just shy of the 8.5m level considered a major flood.

Many low-lying parts of the city have now had water over roads, and houses and businesses cut off due to water spilling out from the river and bubbling up through storm drains.

Senior Sergeant Ewan Findlater said they had issued a handful of infringement notices of up to $731 to motorists who had gone too close to affected areas.

"A lot of damage is caused by floodwaters coming up slowly, and the bow wave from cars can cause damage to people's homes," Snr Sgt Findlater said.

"So if we see people disobeying signage we will take action."

District disaster co-ordinator Superintendent Ron Van Saane said the activation of the Yeppen flood management plan meant the north-south connection through the town would stay open, with diversions in place to take vehicles over the new Yeppen bypass which didn't flood.

"It is a lot slower than you would expect on the highway, but the best thing about it is it's continuing to flow, the speed limit has been reduced to 40 km/h, and so far we hope that'll continue throughout the next couple of days," Supt Van Saane said.

The city is bracing for floodwaters to peak at 9 metres on Thursday morning, which will see about 200 houses with water over the floorboards, as well as cutting off or otherwise affecting about 3000 homes and businesses in low-lying suburbs.

© AAP 2017

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