North Queensland flood: School kids stranded as Ingham water still rising

North Queensland flood: School kids stranded as Ingham water still rising

North Queensland flood: School kids stranded as Ingham water still rising

Updated 9 March 2018, 15:30 AEDT

More than 70 primary school students who are stranded at a school camp north of Townsville are safe despite floodwaters continuing to rise in north Queensland with homes and businesses in Ingham becoming inundated.

Parents of a group of school students stuck at a camp in far north Queensland say they are worried about how their children will get out.

The group of 10 and 11 year-olds and their teachers from Willows State School in Townsville are stranded on a property at Euramo, south of Tully.

Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said his department was in "constant contact" with the group of school children, who were safe and well.

Parent Nyssa Christensen said she hasn't been able to speak to her son.

"They've been there since Monday, couldn't get out on Wednesday when they were supposed to return home. And we're not being allowed to talk to them at all," she said.

"We've been told the kids are safe and dry, they have enough supplies, the SES and QPS are working with our school to make sure our kids are safe and sound but not a lot of information are coming back to us parents.

"The principal has been awesome with communication in messages that don't give us a lot of information, we've been getting text messages, emails... I can't fault them on that but the information that is in that, that's not enough for us parents," she said.

Ms Christensen said she just wanted her son home.

Mr Crawford said they are trying to get the children out over the next few days.

"They were due to come out of that camp this weekend, so resupply for them is the main issue at this stage," he said.

The flooded Herbert River continues to rise in Ingham, where streets and yards are under water and some business and homes are flooding.

"We'll monitor that over coming days to see whether we actually need to extricate them or whether they'll be able to come out safely on the normal passage."

Shortly after 8:00am, swift water rescue crews were called to help evacuate an elderly couple from their home on Fairford Road.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services assistant commissioner Michael O'Neill said crews have been kept busy this morning.

"We've had three swift water rescues, just assisting some elderly people relocate out of their home due to rising water," he said.

"We've also had nine SES tasks in the past 24 hours where crews have been required to lift furniture and sandbag their homes in preparation of the rising water."

The Bruce Highway is closed north of Townsville at Frosty Mango.

Authorities are expecting the Herbert River to peak at 14.75 metres in Ingham.

"We are seeing some of the gauges still rising around the Herbert River," forecaster Jim Richardson said.

At midday the BOM flood warning for the Herbert recorded the river at 14.42m and steady, with the river expected to peak in Ingham on Friday afternoon.

Major flood levels continued to rise downstream to Halifax.

More than 2,000 people in the nearby coastal areas of Halifax, Lucinda and Macknade on the northern beaches have been among the hardest hit.

Those areas have been cut off by floodwaters and Hinchinbrook Shire Mayor Ramon Jayo said they would be isolated for some time.

"At least Saturday before we start seeing some of the roads clearing, but again it depends on what's happening up top," Councillor Jayo said.

The township of Ingham has been cut in two.

Cr Jayo urged people in Ingham to remain at home.

"It's dangerous out there and we don't want any problems associated with vehicles or boats for that matter into houses," he said.

About 350 millimetres of rain has fallen across the Herbert catchment in the 48 hours to Friday morning.

Ingham resident Felix Scerri woke at 5:00am to find his Garbett Street backyard under water.

"I had a look out the window at about four o'clock and there was nothing in the yard that I could see," he said.

"I've just woken up in the last few minutes and there is water everywhere I can see.

"Everybody was expecting it but it happened fairly quickly, didn't really give us too much notice — we had a mad scurry to clean things up late yesterday afternoon.

"We're basically stuck here, luckily we have a high spot at the end of our street that everybody in our street moves their cars up there, basically we've stocked up pretty well so we're stuck here for a couple of days."

Mr Richardson said heavy rain should move further north.

"Still some rain around but it won't be as heavy as it has been in the last few days around Ingham," he said.

Hundreds of people spent Thursday afternoon stocking up on supplies.

Supermarket shelves were stripped of fresh food.

Further north, the Johnstone River at Innisfail is in major flood.

Abergowrie resident Robert Rae is stuck in Ingham without his diabetes medication and had to call a friend to bring a boat to him, to make a trip to the chemist.

He said the SES would not deliver medication unless the issue was life threatening.

"I thought the SES was there to help people with that … but that's one of things they don't do," he said.