New thunderstorms brought more pounding rains to a waterlogged coastal community in north-eastern Australia yesterday as the mayor said it could take a year to fully recover from the worst flooding in decades.
But the good news for the nearly 200,000 exhausted flood victims was that the crisis finally appeared to be easing.
Despite the fresh rains, an overflowing river in the city of Rockhampton began slowly receding yesterday.
The swollen Fitzroy River has spilled on to 3,000 properties throughout the city.
Four thousand people across Queensland have been evacuated from their homes since pounding rains that began just before Christmas left much of the region under a sea of water.
Rains across Queensland were frustrating clean-up crews and residents eager to return home. In Rockhampton, however, Bureau of Meteorology hydrologist Ian Rocca said the rainfall was not expected to push water levels higher in the Fitzroy River.
"It's very good news," mayor Brad Carter said. "It looks like it's peaked, it's plateaued and it's showing signs of dropping."