Recovery efforts ramp up for Qld floods

March 12, 2018

Schools are closed and the big clean-up has begun in North Queensland but more rain is expected.

At least a dozen schools will remain closed as north Queensland turns from response to recovery after major flooding, with the weather bureau warning more rain could be on the way.

Seven state schools, five Catholic and independent schools, and five early childhood and other care centres will remain closed on Monday, a Department of Education statement said.

"Parents are being urged to check local weather conditions and road access, and place their safety and that of their children above all else," the statement said.

Among the public school closures were Daintree, Halifax, Ingham and Macknade, as well as Victoria Plantation and Lower Tully and Ingham High School.

Parents should check the Department's School Closures website for the latest available information.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk travelled to the region on Sunday to assess the damage, after the area from Cairns to Townsville was disaster declared.

"I don't think people in the southeast realise how much impact this flood has had on this region and the surrounding communities," Ms Palaszczuk told reporters

The premier said around a third of all the state's local government areas had been disaster declared as a direct result of the flooding, with the town of Ingham, north of Townsville, still cut in half by floodwaters on Sunday afternoon.

"About 90 per cent of properties have had some impact from the floodwaters," the premier said.

She said the state government would work to make disaster funding available to individuals and local governments.

State Disaster Co-ordinator Bob Gee said the work being done by local councils and emergency crews was outstanding.

"Can I send this message to everyone out there though - the event's not over," Deputy Commissioner Gee said on Sunday.

"Particularly in Ingham, preparation and common sense, people thinking before they act, has worked for us."

The weather bureau is forecasting the rain to continue and while a low pressure system in the Gulf of Carpenteria is now considered unlikely to form into a cyclone, it will leave a trail of wet weather across the northern and Gulf regions as it heads west.

More than 700mm of rain fell in a number of catchment areas in four days, with The Boulders, south of Cairns, receiving 1009mm in the seven days to 9am Saturday.

More than 70 students and staff stranded for nearly a week at an adventure camp near Tully were rescued on Sunday after authorities managed to get troop carriers into their location and drive them to Tully airport before flying them to Townsville.

Locals have also reported dangerous wildlife in the region thanks to the wet weather, with bull sharks, spiders, and snakes spotted in large numbers, as well as one report of a crocodile lunging at a 4WD.

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