Brisbane flood claims first casualty

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Brisbane flood claims first casualty

Post by ceangel8 on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:18 am

Brisbane flood claims first casualty
Posted: 13 January 2011 1012 hrs
A car wrecks outside the town of Grantham in South East Queensland, Australia

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A car wrecks outside the town of Grantham in South East Queensland, Australia


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BRISBANE: A 24-year-old man has become the first victim of Brisbane's worst floods in decades, taking the region's death toll to 15 in the last three days, state premier Anna Bligh said Thursday.

"This is our first death associated with the floods in Brisbane," Bligh told reporters.

Brisbane was turned into a "war zone" on Thursday with whole suburbs under water and infrastructure smashed as the worst flood in decades hit 30,000 properties.

Shocked evacuees surveyed the damage after floods that have swept eastern Australia peaked about a metre below feared levels around dawn, sparing thousands more properties in the besieged river city.

Bligh said relief was tinged with despair at the damage to homes and major landmarks, as well as the scale of the "post-war" rebuilding effort ahead in the city of two million people.

"It's a very mixed story here today, there is some relief and I'm grateful Mother Nature hasn't been as terrible as she could have been, but people are waking up to unbearable agony across our city today," Bligh told Sky News.

"We've seen scenes of unbelievable devastation and destruction: entire suburbs where only rooftops can be glimpsed, whole big workplaces... are completely under water.

"Whole industrial parks (and) railway stations under water, bridges, roads all closed," she added. "What I'm seeing looks more like a war zone in some places."

Central Brisbane remained a ghost town after office buildings ordered workers to stay away and power was cut to more than 100,000 properties in the region, as a safety measure to avoid electrical fires.

Choking back tears, Bligh said Queenslanders were a tough breed who had overcome adversity before.

"We're the ones that they knock down and we get up again. I said earlier this week that this weather may break our hearts... but it will not break our will," she said.

The Brisbane River peaked at 4.46 metres at around 5:15 am (1915 GMT Wednesday), below levels that devastated the city in 1974.

- AFP/fa


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