The Heat Is Online

Storms Dumps Nearly 10 Inches of Rain in Six Hours on Brisba

Torrential Rains Hit Australia State, One Dead

 

Planetark.org, Nov. 21, 2008

 

CANBERRA - Torrential rains killed a woman and troops were deployed to help thousands of people after storms and flash floods hit Australia's Queensland state overnight, just days after cyclonic weather battered the tropical region.

 

The woman was swept away in her four-wheel-drive as storms dumped 250 millimeters (9.8 inches) of rain over the capital Brisbane and cities to the west in just six hours, prompting police to evacuate houses threatened by landslides.

 

"I woke up, looked around me and found that my bed was floating in about four feet of water around the bedroom," Brisbane resident Dave Gilbank told state radio on Thursday.

 

The floods in some areas were the worst since 1974, Ipswich city mayor Paul Pisasale said. At least 31 people were rescued after attempting to drive through fast-rising waters.

 

"This damn natural disaster from mother nature happened so quickly," Pisasale said.

 

The national government offered extra soldiers to join hundreds already helping civilian cleanup teams, while a state of emergency declared last weekend was extended.

 

"It's a cruel blow, two very significant storms in a matter of days," Treasurer Wayne Swan told reporters in Canberra.

 

Cyclone-like storms ripped across the same area on Sunday night, killing one man, destroying houses and leaving more than 230,000 homes and businesses without electricity, and prompting the national and state governments to declare an emergency.

 

Australian weather bureau Senior Forecaster Geoff Doueal said more rain was expected in coming days after widespread falls deluged much of eastern Australia, including drought-stricken crop areas in Queensland and adjacent New South Wales state.

 

Graincorp Chief Executive Mark Irwin said the rain had not impacted too much on the wheat harvest in southern Queensland as most crops had already been harvested. Wet weather in northern NSW meant the harvest was running two weeks behind time.

 

The sugar industry association Canegrowers also said there had been little impact as the harvest was virtually over.

 

Energy company Energex said it was working to restore power to about 20,000 customers from Brisbane to the nearby tourist havens of the Gold Coast.

 

Police said roads in Brisbane had been closed to the public to allow emergency vehicles better access, while other roads and major highways had been cut by flooding.

 

A bridge collapsed at Tallegalla near Ipswich, while state Premier Anna Bligh said a major city bypass tunnel in Brisbane was flooded.

"This is now a very significant disaster," she said.

 

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/51194/story.htm

 

 

 

 

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