Schoolchildren trapped by floodwater
STUDENTS from a Townsville school have been trapped by floodwater while on camp.
Parents have told the Townsville Bulletin a group of Grade 6 students from Willows State School were flooded in near Tully at Camp Echo.
The parents said the children were unable to get them out.
"Hopefully they can rescue them soon as there are many anxious parents," the source said.
Another parent told the Bulletin the children were supposed to return Wednesday morning but were still flooded in this morning.
The Willows State School P&C issued an urgent message overnight.
"Please be reminded that the co-ordination of the camp situation is in the hands of the Disaster Management Team and Experts on the ground ready to act when they can," a Willows State School P&C spokesman said.
"Our student safety and responses to this situation are being co-ordinated by local Disaster Management and Queensland Police Service."
Education Minister Grace Grace thanked police, emergency services, teachers and staff who are caring for 72 Year Six students stranded at an adventure camp site near Tully.
"I am advised that every effort is being made to comfort students who have been unable to leave the Echo Creek Adventure Camp because of flooding," Minister Grace said.
"The camp is safe and the students, eight staff and a parent there have food and shelter. Police are currently working to resupply them with food and other necessities."
Minister Grace said she had been assured by police that the party would be moved as soon as it was safe to do so.
"The latest information I have received is that floodwaters are expected to recede over the next 48 hours.
"The students attend Willows Primary School, Townsville, and their parents are being kept informed of developments by the education department.
"Parents can contact the school if they have any concerns and to check on the latest information," the Minister said.
"I want to personally thank all those involved in ensuring that the students are safe."
Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford added his thanks to all those involved.
"The safety and well-being of the children is the top priority and the situation is being monitored constantly," he said.
Minister Grace said heavy rain has caused severe disruption to schools in and around Ingham and in Tully and a total of 13 schools and the Paluma Environmental Education Centre are closed today.
"As there is currently a Flood Watch for parts of North and Far North Queensland I urge parents to check local weather conditions and road access and not attempt to drive children to school if conditions are dangerous," she said.
"If it flooded, forget it.
"Parents should monitor the school closures website, which is constantly updated."