Floods costing Australia $3B in lost farming, coal

January 21, 2011 08:43

MELBOURNE, Australia — Rivers surged to record heights and put rural towns and an already waterlogged city on flood watch Friday in a weekslong crisis that is costing Australia at least $3 billion in lost farming and coal exports.

Residents of Brisbane sandbagged homes again as an exceptionally high tide and overnight rain engorged the main river through the Queensland state capital, already devastated by flooding last week. Mayor Campbell Newman urged people in low-lying areas to be prepared. The Brisbane River is expected to remain high until Sunday.Australian Associated Press reported flooding of some homes, businesses and a race course in inner suburbs where more severe flooding struck last week. Officials could not be immediately contacted Friday for details.

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