Climate change

Heavy storms bring flooding to southeast Australia

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First responders rescued more than 20 people from flooding in Australia’s Victoria state on Monday, and officials warned of further flooding as storms lashed an already-drenched region in the latest bout of wild weather to hit the country’s east coast.

Showers and thunderstorms are forecast to bring up to 100 mm (3.9 inches) of rain, more than a month’s worth in places, to a wide belt stretching from southwest New South Wales state into northeast Victoria on Monday morning, according to the bureau of meteorology.

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The ground was already wet, and rivers were swollen after storms on Sunday and overnight. A month’s worth of rain fell on the town of Redesdale in three hours overnight.

Victorian state first responders received roughly 700 calls for help and conducted 26 rescues in the early hours of Monday, in particular around the regional town of Bendigo, roughly 120 km (75 miles) north of Melbourne.

“We’ve got a lot of crews across the state currently preparing for impending weather,” Victoria state emergency service assistant chief officer Mark Cattell told ABC News. “We have a lot of crews resting after a very busy night in the Bendigo area.”

Seven flood warnings are in place across Victoria and dangerous flash flooding is possible through Monday afternoon as the rain rolls east towards the coast.

Australia’s east has been hit by rain, floods and even a tropical cyclone during a summer when many had expected the El Nino phenomenon to bring with it dry weather and bushfires.

With Reuters

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