Rains, flood threat hamper Aussie cyclone relief

CAIRNS, Australia — Drenching rain and the threat of flash flooding hampered recovery efforts Friday following one of Australia's most damaging cyclones, as authorities confirmed the first death from the storm.
Cyclone Yasi was downgraded Friday morning to less than hurricane strength after traveling almost 500 miles (800 kilometers) inland since crashing ashore a day earlier along a long stretch of Queensland state's coast.
The storm destroyed dozens of homes and ripped roofs and walls from dozens more. It cut power supplies in two regional cities and laid waste to hundreds of millions of dollars worth of banana and sugar cane crops.