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Towns battle floods, crocs and more rain

Military personnel, helicopters and aircraft may be deployed as RECORD FLOODS threaten to force mass evacuations of isolated townships across Queensland's far north. Dozens of families in Karumba and Normanton, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, have been evacuated. More than 1000 homes are flood-affected in Ingham, north of Townsville, including 20 that have up to 1.5m of water flowing through the living areas. More than 30 people are in emergency accommodation and at least six more are stranded awaiting help. Locals say flood levels are higher than the 1974 record. Huge crocodiles in the centre of the Gulf towns have hampered rescue efforts and large numbers have reportedly been seen swimming towards the 60km-wide mouth of the flooded Norman River. Supermarkets in Cairns, Innisfail and Port Douglas are starting to experience food shortages because the main rail link has been severed for more than a week and trucks are unable to travel north of Ingham. And there is more disaster on the way with forecasters predicting heavy rain for the rest of the week. A low off the coast could form into a cyclone as early as tomorrow. 
Image: Under siege ... Floodwaters enter shops in the retail and business centre of Ingham. Picture: Mark and Belinda Doyle of Lee's Hotel.

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