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Australian floods continue unabated flooding hundreds of thousands of square miles

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 4:58pm MDT
This screen capture shows a car being carried away by a flash flood in Toowoomba, Australia. Click the image to watch the amazing video on Examiner.com.

This screen capture shows a car being carried away by a flash flood in Toowoomba, Australia. Click the image to watch the amazing video on Examiner.com.

The death toll from the relentless flooding in Queensland, Australia continues to climb as four people were killed in a flash flood.  The rising waters have inundated an area covering hundreds of thousands of square miles and now threaten the city of Brisbane. 

The most recent fatalities, two adults and two children, occurred near the city of Toowoomba when flash floods swept their vehicle from the road.  A wall of water as high as 26 feet (eight meters) raged through the area in the wake of a rainstorm. 

Cars, furniture and people were tossed around by the rushing waters and search and rescue operations continue as fears of additional deaths weigh heavily.  The waters hit with enough intensity to move houses from their foundations and landslides covered highways. 

Premier Anna Bligh told a press conference, “Mother Nature has unleashed something shocking on Toowoomba.”

Fears of the expanding flooding had residents of low-lying areas in Brisbane filling sandbags and preparing for the worst.  The third largest city in Australia, Brisbane is home to 2 million residents. 

Slideshow: Flooding in Australia continues with rising waters and death toll

Slideshow: Flooding in Australia continues with rising waters and death toll. (Examiner.com)

The Brisbane River received 12 inches of rain (300mm) in only 24 hours and is expected to continue to rise in coming days.  Australian Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Jeff Perkins warned that the city could see its worst flooding in more than 30 years.

Queensland has been besieged by seemingly never ending rains totaling in excess of 20 inches in some locations.  Towns and cities have been inundated as rivers became swollen and overran their banks. 

Northeast Australia has had an extraordinarily wet rainy season.  The seasonal rains have brought flooding that encompasses an area larger than France and Germany combined.  More than $10 million in damage has been estimated and the number is expected to continue to grow.

For more on the flooding in Australia and all types of natural disasters, please visit the Natural Disasters Examiner.

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