Australia's flood disaster continues
Massive flooding could be nation's most expensive natural disaster ever.
An aerial view of flood water inundating the Wimmera and Southern Mallee region in Victoria, Australia, Wednesday. Evacuations have been ordered in several western and north-western Victorian towns as they brace for the worst flooding in over 200 years. Record rainfall has inundated the region and causing several river water levels to rise.
Family members of the deceased mourn at the funeral of mother and son killed in last week's flash floods in Toowoomba Wednesday. Donna Maree Rice, 43, and Jordan Rice, 13, were swept away in the flash floods that struck the Lockyer Valley, taking the lives of 20 people. Jordon had told a rescuer to save his younger brother first.
A Brisbane City Council worker is dwarfed by a mountain of household debris dumped next to the sports grounds at the Victoria Park Golf Club on Jan. 17 following devastating floods in the city.
People fill sand bags on Jan. 17 to try to stop their properties in Horsham from flooding, as the Wimmera River was expected to peak overnight, splitting the town in two.
Local resident Monica Ditchmen (front) and Australian Governor-General Quentin Bryce sit together during an afternoon briefing at a school on Jan. 16 after the town of Grantham, Queensland was devastated by flooding
A man adds to a pile of debris on the edge of a street as he cleans a flood-damaged house after the Brisbane River receded in the suburb of Westend on Jan. 14. As Australia's third-largest city began cleaning up stinking mud and debris in flood-hit areas, whole suburbs remained submerged.
Children unable to gain access to a playground near the Wimmera river in Horsham, Victoria on Monday Jan. 17. Residents and emergency crews sandbagged properties and evacuations were ordered in the town in preparation for what was expected to be the worst flooding in over 200 years. Up to 20 towns in addition to those already flooded or under threat are expected to be hit by floodwaters in coming days
Narelle Cole gently wipes silt from a 21-year-old photo of her daughter Kerrie, which she salvaged from the ruins of her inundated home in Ipswich on Jan. 14.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard, right, speaks to 66-year-old local resident Kerry Yem, holding her dog Becky at a flood evacuation centre in Helidon, Queensland on Jan. 14.
Tony Garcia surveys the remains of his father's flood-devastated 1963 Austin Morris in Ipswich on Jan. 14.
Alice Richter-Ward cleans the mud from her Ryan Street home in the West End area of Brisbane on Jan. 14 after floodwaters inundated many parts of the city. As the waters receded, Brisbane residents began shoveling mud from homes, footpaths and roads.
The mud covered friends of Andrew Taylor, second from right, pose around a destroyed piano as they help his family clean their house after floodwaters receded in the Brisbane suburb of Westend on Jan. 14.
A sales representative looks out from the entrance of a flooded wine wholesale store in Brisbane on Jan.13. Flood water in Australia's third-biggest city peaked below feared catastrophic levels on Thursday but Brisbane and other devastated regions faced years of rebuilding as a fresh flood threat loomed with a cyclonic storm building off the coast.
The Brisbane River breaks its banks to flood residential areas west of Brisbane Jan. 13.
Friends pitch in to save local resident Paul O'Leary's home in the Bulimba suburb of Brisbane after flooding on January 13. Australia's third-largest city Brisbane was turned into a "war zone" on January 13 with whole suburbs under water and infrastructure smashed as the worst flood in decades hit 30,000 properties.
Flood affected residents are comforted at the QE-2 Flood Evacuation centre at Nathan in Brisbane, Australia, on Jan. 13. While the Brisbane River peaked one metre below the record 1974 peak of 5.45 metres, Brisbane residents face huge infrastructure issues as the cleanup starts.
Oil swirls around vehicles submerged by flood waters in an industrial area of Brisbane on Jan. 13.
An unidentified woman uses a hose to pump water out of an office in the city center of Brisbane, Australia on Jan. 13, 2011. Floodwaters washing through Australia's third-largest city crested Thursday just shy of record levels but high enough to submerge entire neighborhoods and cause damage one official likened to the aftermath of war.
A man looks at debris floating across a flooded street in the inner Brisbane suburb of West End, Jan. 12. Deadly floodwaters flowed onto the streets in Australia's northeastern state of Queensland after drenching rains that began in November sent swollen rivers spilling over their banks, inundating an area larger than France and Germany combined.
A vehicle is swept away in floodwaters in southeast Queensland, Jan. 12.
Anne Smart sits on the step of her flooded house after rainwaters the day before inundated the city of Ipswich.
The Ipswich motorway is cut west of Brisbane. Brisbane and Ipswich were bracing for their worst-ever floods, with tens of thousands of homes at risk.
Children wade through the flood waters in Brisbane's West End, Jan. 11.
Flood waters swamp the shopping center in the city of Toowoomba on Jan. 11.
The Brisbane River rises in central Brisbane on Jan. 11. Thousands of people were urged to leave the outskirts of Australia's third-largest city, Brisbane, as flood waters raced eastward.
A passenger in a car waves for help as a flash flood sweeps across an intersection in Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, on Jan. 10.
Emergency workers rescue a man after he was stranded clinging to a tree on a flooded street in Toowoomba on Jan. 10.
People stand on the rooftop of a house in Grantham, a township between Toowomba and Brisbane, on Jan. 10.
A damaged building stands in central Toowoomba after a flash flood ripped through the center of town on Jan. 10.
A man holds up a shirt on the roof of a house in Toowoomba on Jan. 10.
Bystanders look at damage caused by flash flooding in Toowoomba on Jan. 10.
A resident of Maroochydore stands outside a store that has been sand bagged in preparation for flooding on Jan. 11.
Cars stand piled up after flood waters rushed through Toowoomba on Jan. 10.
Food waters slam cars into a bridge on a street in Toowoomba on Jan. 10.
Ipswich resident Warwick Roberts loads his car with free sandbags from emergency services amid heavy flooding in the area on Jan.11.
Debris and an overturned car float in central Toowoomba after floodwater ripped through the town center on Jan.10.
People watch from Kangaroo Point Cliffs as an emergency vessel recovers three lost boat pontoons on the Brisbane River on Jan.11.