Flood-hit town cleans up

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Residents evacuate to higher ground in Hermit Park, Townsville, Queensland, Australia on Sunday. Reuters

SYDNEY (Xinhua) – Victims of the flood which killed two men and inundated properties in the Australian city of Townsville are returning to count the cost.

Millions of dollars worth of damage have been reported so far.

Around 738 homes suffered severe flood damage and 252 of them are uninhabitable, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said yesterday.

“That is some sad news for families and it is going to be a lot of tough work for those families seeing their homes,” Mr Palaszczuk said.

A spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Australia told Xinhua that so far insurers have received over 10,000 claims with losses estimated at US$88 million.

This will continue to rise as householders and small businesspeople examine the damage and contact their insurers or insurance brokers to lodge claims.

The historic levels of rain was expected to shift away from the coast yesterday evening.

However, further inland flood warnings remain in place and many farmers say they have already lost livestock to the disaster.

“Probably what’s been forgotten here is these inland areas on the Flinders Highway,” meteorologist Michael Knepp told the ABC.

“Our thoughts are with the farmers out west – that river is still rising, so that’s going to mean a major flooding will continue for the next few days.”

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