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Australia’s tropical north typically experiences heavy rains during the monsoon season, but the recent downpour has far exceeded normal levels.
In hard-hit Townsville cars were mostly submerged, with picket fences barely poking through waist-deep flood waters.
“We’ve never seen so much water in our lives,” said local radio journalist Gabi Elgood. “You think there can’t possibly be any more to come but the rain just doesn’t stop.”
Desperate residents had to contend not only with flash flooding, landslides and power blackouts, but also reptilian predators that have been spotted in residential roads and cul-de-sacs.
There were several saltwater crocodile sightings in the flood-ravaged Townsville area.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s Adam Blazak told AFP the downpours could continue until Thursday, while floodwaters will take some time to recede even when the rains lessen.
Some areas are expected to get a year’s worth of rain in just over a week. (Inputs from agencies)