Brisbane, Australia – Parts of Australia’s third most populous city, Brisbane, were submerged Monday after heavy rains led to record floods in some parts of the East Coast, killing eight people.
The floods in and around Brisbane are the largest since 2011, when a city of 2.6 million people was flooded by an event that happened once a century.
The latest victim was a 50-year-old man who drowned after driving into a floodplain in the Gold Coast town south of Brisbane on Monday before dawn, Queensland police said.
The bodies of the man and his dog were taken hours later from a flooded car that had been washed off the road, police said.
Queensland emergency crews have carried out more than 130 emergency rescues on the water in 24 hours, officials said.
All eight people died in Queensland, the capital of which is Brisbane.
The search for a 70-year-old lone sailor who fell overboard from his ship in the Brisbane River near the city center on Saturday continues. Police were also looking for a missing man in the town of Gooden, west of Brisbane, and another from Esca, northwest of Brisbane.
South of the Queensland border police on Monday searched for the man after officers heard him calling for help on Sunday in a flood in the town of Lismore in New South Wales.
Police told businesses in central Brisbane along the river embankment to evacuate after the pontoon, which had a crane, escaped from the berths upstream and began floating in flood waters to them.
Repeated warnings of emergency flooding were in effect in the suburbs of Brisbane, where 2,145 homes and 2,356 businesses were flooded on Monday. Another 10,827 facilities were partially flooded.
The Brisbane River peaked Monday at a height of 12 feet 3 inches, officials said. It was 2 feet below the 2011 floods, officials said.
Queensland Prime Minister Anastasia Palashchuk said the rainfall over Brisbane had been extraordinary since November, when authorities were considering restricting water use due to water shortages.
“This is still a significant event, and I think everyone will agree that in such a short period of time no one has seen so much rain” in the south-eastern region, – said Palashchuk.