Published: Mon, April 03, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Two dead, tens of thousands stranded by Australia floods

Two dead, tens of thousands stranded by Australia floods

Flooding rivers swamped towns along Australia's east coast on Friday forcing tens of thousands of people to be evacuated as fast-flowing waters cut roads and destroyed bridges after the remnants of a powerful cyclone swept through the region.

Rising floods plagued large parts of eastern Australia Sunday as emergency workers battled to restore water and electricity in cyclone-hit areas, with the recovery efforts expected to last several months.

Police said the bodies of two women were recovered from floodwaters on Friday night - the first reported deaths since Cyclone Debbie struck on Tuesday.

While some areas are now assessing the damage, certain towns in Queensland are still preparing to be hit with flood waters.

Authorities are searching for three people that remain missing in flood-hit areas of Queensland.

Cyclone Debbie, a category four storm, pummelled northeastern Australia on Tuesday, bringing down power line, ripping off trees and smashing tourist resorts.

Ergon Energy will work with the Rockhampton Regional Council on disconnecting customers, to ensure there are no live wire issues, as Fitzroy River flood levels rise; 90 customers are expected to be disconnected today and they have been notified.

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In the Hunter Valley, the body of a 64-year-old woman was found submerged in four metres of water on Friday afternoon, the day after her vehicle was swept off a causeway at Gungal, about 170 kilometres north-west of Newcastle.

It was downgraded to a tropical low as it tracked southeast.

Two women, aged 36 and 64, were swept away by floodwaters in northern NSW, while a 46-year-old man died in Murwillumbah from a heart attack when paramedics couldn't reach him.

Logan River, near Logan city south of Brisbane, remained heavily flooded on Saturday after peaking at 15m on Friday in the worst flooding in the city's history.

"The most important message I can give is look out for your neighbour, support each other and be aware that there are people around who are lonely and people who are on their own", Mr Smith said.

Just to the north the popular Queensland tourist city of Gold Coast and surrounds were also inundated.

Further north, cyclone-affected residents in Bowen and Airlie Beach were told to boil their tap water before drinking it, as it could contain bacteria, while the clean-up continued.

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