Thousands forced out of homes by deadly Australian floods
Monday, January 28, 2013 - 01:23
Jan. 28 - Three people have died and thousands have been ordered to leave their homes as heavy rain hits parts of the east coast of Australia, causing severe flooding. Sarah Sheffer reports.
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Severe summer floods on Australia's east coast.
Three people have died and thousands have been ordered to leave their homes on Monday as high tides combined with torrential rains to inundate rivers in low lying areas.
Queensland and northern New South Wales are the worst hit.
In central Queensland, the State Emergency Service used boats and helicopters to rescue people who ignored evacuation orders or were unable to leave.
State premier Campbell Newman issued a grave warning.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) CAMPBELL NEWMAN, QUEENSLAND STATE PREMIER SAYING:
"The velocity of the water and the rise in water levels means that literally houses, particularly in north Bundaberg and maybe other locations, could be actually swept away."
Residents across the region did what they could to protect their homes from the rising waters.
Others were resigned to the weather and put on a brave face.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SHERILL SHIRLEY, TUMBULGUM RESIDENT SAYING (PARTLY OVERLAID AT START):
"It's going to be OK. It's just the mess afterwards, the mud."
TV reports said as many as 130,000 homes are without power and could be cut off for the rest of the week.
Bushfires and flooding that has devastated parts of the country this summer have already cost around $45 million in insurance claims so far.
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