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Passengers in tears over fears Rocky flights cancelled

SES volunteers building the flood barricade at the Rockhampton airport.
SES volunteers building the flood barricade at the Rockhampton airport. Kerri-Anne Mesner

ELDERLY passengers were reduced to tears over inaccurate southern media reports the Rockhampton Airport would close yesterday.

Rockhampton Region councillor Neil Fisher said he had been fielding calls from concerned residents who had missed vital medical appointments in Brisbane as a result.

Flood waters have forced the airport to shut down today as a 9m flood looms; the site goes under at 8.8m.

"I have had elderly people in tears on the phone," Cr Fisher said.

"(Reporters) made no effort to contact Disaster Coordination Centre here... a lot of people didn't turn up for their flights today."

The Airport, Waste and Water Committee chairman said the last plane was due to fly out was on the tarmac just before 1pm, and once departed the airport would close.

He praised staff for their flood preparation efforts, and emergency services who had worked to flood-proof the site as much as possible.

FLOOD WATCH: Last flight out of Rocky airport to be at 12.20pm

 

 

"There have been a few hiccups with flights and little issues with the airlines with the management and their call centres," Cr Fisher said.

"But as far as the airport operation, they have done exceptionally well in making sure everything is in full flood preparation mode."

He said Queensland Health had also come on board, and done a "tremendous job" to rearrange appointments to allow residents to return before midday today.

Cr Fisher said the false reports from southern media had been distressing for residents, and meant several phone calls had to be made between family members to resolve the issue.

Some had missed their appointments for chemotherapy in Brisbane. 

Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow said over the weekend the level of inundation would determine when the airport would reopen.

She advised it could remain shut for the remainder of the week.

Additional Qantas flights have been arranged for flood-affected Rockhampton passengers at the Gladstone Airport.

Capricorn Enterprise have advised the following:

AIRPORT TRANSFERS TO AND FROM GLADSTONE AIRPORT

  • Emus Beach Resort will provide two bus services per day departing Gladstone at 11am and 3.30pm with luggage trailer. Adults: $89 return, $50 one way. Children: $49 return, $25 one way. Phone 0413 398 784 to book. Pick up and drop offs at most Rockhampton CBD accommodation houses and Capricorn Coast upon request. 
  • Little Johnny's Tours can provide charter service for groups. Phone 0414 793 637 to book.
  • Budget Car Rental: "Flood specials" available Rockhampton and Gladston, phone 13 27 27 to book.
  • Queensland Rail: All northbound trains are terminating at Gladstone with Qld Rail transferring their passengers by bus to Rockhampton. This information is subject to change.

Topics:  cyclone debbie editors picks neil fisher rockhampton airport rockhampton flood wildweather


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