The Fitzroy River has peaked below its expected top of nine metres in Rockhampton, sparing some homes but still causing major flooding in the central Queensland city.
The Bureau of Meteorology confirmed on Thursday the river had peaked at 8.8m just after midday and stayed steady at that level for three hours.
It was below the predicted top, which had already been downgraded from the initial weekend forecast of 9.4m, and below the mark reached in 2011.
Rockhampton Regional Council disaster management committee chairman Tony Williams said he was “very relieved” the flood had not reached the predicted peak.
“We’ll take anything below that … (it) is such a huge relief,” Mr Williams said.
“They’re telling us for the next 24 hours the river will stay at that height and should start to rapidly recede over the weekend.”
Despite the lower-than-expected peak, Mr Williams said about 3000 homes and business would be affected by the floods and an estimated 217 homes would have water over their floorboards.
About 375 homes and businesses remain without power after Ergon shut off power earlier in the week.
They are expected to be reconnected in coming days.
The flood barriers at North Rockhampton had been criticised for protecting some homes and not others but Mr Williams said they had worked well.
“There are over 400 properties on the north that have experienced a flood without having to have an impact,” he said.
“We can start to lobby for those measures in other areas to reduce the impact over the region.”