Croc warning follows floods

Australian residents are being urged to beware of crocodiles as the flooded Fitzroy River in Rockhampton recedes after peaking at a less than expected 8.6 metres.

The weather bureau's revised forecast had the central Queensland river reaching 8.7 metres, but the eventual peak was touched on Saturday morning, putting it well below the 9.2 metre peak of early 2011.

By 5.30am (AEST) on Sunday, the river level had fallen to 8.53 metres, a week after ex-tropical cyclone Oswald lashed the Queensland coast and inundated upstream areas of the Fitzroy catchment in Australia's beef capital.

Rockhampton deputy mayor Tony Williams said disaster management planners were glad the river peak didn't reach 8.7 metres, following the Bureau of Meteorology's decision on Friday to revise its earlier forecast of an 8.5 metre flood peak.

"It's a great relief to everyone, all the community. It will be seen as something that you put down to experience," he told reporters on Sunday.

"It's better to urge on the side of caution."

Rockhampton Airport is expected to remain closed to most passenger flights for another few days, but turbo-prop aircraft with up to 74 seats are resuming services on Sunday afternoon.

While floodwaters are receding, residents are being urged to stay out of the water following several crocodile sightings at Koongal and Depot Hill.

"It's always a danger there. It's something that we need to be mindful of, and informing the residents not to go into those waters because of those risks that are there with those crocodiles," Mr Williams said.

"The Fitzroy River is a natural habitat for saltwater crocodiles - the community are quite aware that living in north Queensland it's something that's always been there.

"You imagine with these flooding events that they'd go out and move around other low lying areas."

With the floodwaters receding, the local disaster management group which Mr Williams chairs is having a break until Tuesday as the city moves into the recovery phase.

Meanwhile, beaches on the Capricorn coast east of Rockhampton, including Yeppoon and Emu Park, are closed on Sunday as the swollen Fitzroy River empties debris and cattle carcasses into the Pacific Ocean.

"We need to heed that caution that came from Queensland Health and we'll be monitoring those beaches on a daily basis,'' Mr Williams said.

-AAP

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