Saturday, January 15, 2011

Soaked Australia focuses on flood clean-up

AP: Some Australian communities remained isolated by floodwaters and others braced for a new river peak Sunday as the nation's third-largest city struggled to clean up the putrid sludge left behind by the receding Brisbane River. More than 12,000 rubber-gloved volunteers hauled sodden debris from soaked homes, shoveled muck and swept and mopped muddy floors in some of the 30,000 homes and businesses that were flooded in Brisbane.

Officials have said the complete cleanup of the Queensland state capital would take months, and reconstruction up to two years. The floods have caused 26 deaths in Australia's northeast since late November, and 14 others are missing, most of them from a flash flood that hit towns west of Brisbane on Monday.

In the town of Grantham, described as the epicenter of the flash flood, 70 percent of the town remained cordoned off Sunday while searchers looked for the bodies of the missing. The wall of water that swept through the town left behind dozens of smashed cars wedged in trees or bogged in fields, houses slipped off their foundations and masses of muddied belongings piling up as debris in the streets….

Australia Zoo flooded staff area during 2011 floods, shot by ZooPro, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

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