Australia floods kill 4, soak thousands of homes
Heavy rain stops, but several Queensland towns left flooded and without electricity
A three-year-old boy was killed when high winds knocked a tree onto him in Brisbane, bringing the death toll related to eastern Australia's flooding and severe post-cyclone weather to four on Monday.
Torrential rain dumped by ex-cyclone Oswald has cut power to thousands of homes and left many awaiting rescue from dangerous conditions.
In Bundaberg, about 385 kilometres north of Brisbane, the rain has stopped, but the Burnett River has spilled over its banks and flooded an estimated 2,000 homes. High winds are hindering rescue and recovery efforts.
Bundaberg Deputy Mayor David Batt told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that hundreds of people need to be evacuated from their home.
Residents of Bundaberg are no stranger to severe flooding — a 2011 flood killed 35 people there.
In other eastern Australian towns, helicopters have been used to pluck 18 people from the roofs of their flooded homes. Major Queensland-area towns of Gladstone, Gympie and Ipswich have all been hit by heavy flooding.
Campbell Newman, the state premier of Queensland, appealed for calm amidst the flooding. "We'll get people out in the coming days," Newman told local media.
Brisbane suburbs flood, city core OK
South of Brisbane, on Australia’s famous Gold Coast area, the post-cyclone weather created a rare surge of sea foam. Video shows cars, rendered almost invisible by the foam, driving along coastal roads among pedestrians out to gawk at the spectacle.
Some of Brisbane’s neighbourhoods have suffered flooding and several major commuter rail lines have been shut down, the Brisbane Times reports.
People in Brisbane’s core are preparing for floods, which could strike at high tide at noon local time Tuesday. There has been some flooding near the Brisbane River, which flows through the city.
Brisbane was also hit by a major flood in January of 2011, though city officials predict this year’s floods won’t be as bad.
With files from the Associated Press