Town could be cut off for four days as rivers rise
INGHAM residents have been warned they could be isolated for several days as major flooding closes roads and threatens properties.
Response teams are on high alert after 48 hours of heavy rainfall cut dozens of roads, including the Bruce Highway at Tully yesterday.
The Herbert River was last night expected to peak higher than in February 2009 when the region was devastated.
The weather bureau issued a major flood warning as residents in low-lying areas were instructed to enact their household emergency plans.
Locals rushed to stock up on food, water and fuel and schoolchildren were sent home early yesterday.
Ingham local Elliot Cassady said it had been several years since he had last seen rain this heavy in the region.
"Our place is pretty safe, but probably just the lack of food will be an issue if we're cut off," he said.
Hinchinbrook Mayor Ramon Jayo said some parts of Ingham could be cut off for three or four days.
"If the river gets to 14.75m as anticipated by the (bureau), it is bigger than the 2009 flood (and) Ingham will be cut off," he said.
The council set up sandbagging stations at Ingham, Cordelia and Halifax.
Two Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) swift water rescue crews from the state's southeast travelled to Ingham overnight to help bolster local resources.
QFES Minister Craig Crawford said residents needed to remain vigilant and stay away from flood water.
"Parts of Ingham and the surrounding areas may become isolated or inundated, so residents are urged to ensure their emergency kits are ready and that they have sufficient food, water, medication and infant supplies available," he said.
"If you're driving through the affected areas, be alert for the potential for roads to be flooded and as always remember, if it's flooded, forget it."
Tropical Public Health Services have advised residents in Tully and Millaa Milla to boil water before consumption.
Meanwhile, four tourists staying at the Stony Creek campgrounds at Wallaman Falls had to be rescued by a local man after rising waters surrounded them yesterday.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster David Grant said isolated showers of more than 200mm in 24 hours had been recorded throughout the region with rain expected to continue today.
"We're expecting a continuation of some heavy rainfall around the tropical east coast, north of about Ingham up into the Lockhart River and through the Torres Strait," he said.