Australia faces weather woes with southern storms

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 5, 2011 05:11

CAIRNS, Australia — The tail end of one of Australia's largest-ever cyclones was felt at the other end of the country Saturday, as wild storms lashed Melbourne with destructive winds and flash flooding.

Many parts of Australia have suffered a summer of awful weather, including pounding rains across northeastern Queensland state that caused the nation's worst flooding in decades, killing 35 people and causing an estimated $5.6 billion damage.

The tropical low that was Cyclone Yasi, which hit the northeast earlier this week, was active over central Australia and making a series of thunderstorms over the southern city of Melbourne and other large towns in Victoria state much worse, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

More than 7 inches (175 millimeters) of rain fell in just a few hours overnight Friday in some Melbourne neighborhoods and winds gusting to 80 mph (130 kph) knocked down trees, the Bureau of Meteorology said.


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