The flood-hit sugar cane farming town of Ingham in Queensland’s north is dealing with looting before farmers even count the cost of cyclone Ita.

Three boys have been charged with looting a flood-hit shop in the north Queensland sugar cane town of Ingham.

The town north of Townsville has been cut off since Sunday when cyclone Ita moved south, bringing heavy rains that caused the Herbert River to reach a peak of almost 13 metres and close parts of the Bruce Highway.

But with river levels expected to fall back to four metres on Wednesday, the town isn’t just bracing for the consequences of destroyed crops.

Flood-damaged businesses also have to deal with theft.

As an Ingham shop lay dormant, a front glass window was smashed on Sunday or Monday, police allege.

They have charged two 16-year-old boys from the town of entering the premises with intent and looting items including cash and stationery.

A 13-year-old boy from nearby Forrest Beach has also been charged with the same offences.

State disaster co-ordinator, Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski, said there would be zero tolerance to looting.

“It is very disappointing that in times of disaster some people attempt to take advantage of another person’s misfortune,” he said in a statement.

The boys are due to appear in Ingham Children’s Court at a later date.