Heavy rain floods part of east Australia; 2K flee

AP News
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Posted: Jun 15, 2011 9:12 AM
Heavy rain floods part of east Australia; 2K flee

Heavy rain has caused flooding in eastern Australia that has forced 2,000 people to leave their homes and isolated thousands of other residents.

Michael Gallacher, the emergency services minister for New South Wales, declared some northern parts of the state disaster areas Wednesday. Heavy rain has fallen for three days and more was expected overnight.

Greg Gill of New South Wales emergency services described flooded areas as "just a sea of water" and said 10,000 people were isolated. Many roads are impassable, and swollen rivers are still rising.

Police reported one death, a driver killed when a tree fell and struck his car Wednesday morning.