The flood-inducing storms that lashed Queensland have spread to Australia’s southernmost state of Tasmania.
Residents have been evacuated across the island state as rivers and dams are bursting their banks and flooding streets.
Tasmania has been lashed with the same storm front that has hit most of the east coast of Australia and is experiencing its heaviest ever daily rainfall levels.
The rainfall has also denied matches at the Domain Tennis Centre where the Moorilla Hobart International is currently being played ahead of the Australian Open.
State Emergency Services spokeswoman, Sharon Sherman said the floods forced evacuations in the northwest towns of Wynyard, Railton and Chudleigh, where several homes were inundated.
The banks of Blackwood Creek burst, which isolated parts of Bracknell, south of Launceston.
Also, a dam breached at Castra, near Devonport, forcing the evacuation of a number of low-lying homes nearby, Sherman said.
Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett, who will tour flood-affected regions on Saturday, said the Queensland floods put the situation in Tasmania into perspective.
“While I know it is having a big impact on families, businesses and communities, it is nowhere near the scale and the scope of the Queensland tragedy,” he told reporters in Tasmania’s capital, Hobart.
“Having said that, we are dealing with some serious flooding.”
Elsewhere in Tasmania, a tourist was stranded when a bridge was washed out at Meander Falls, near Deloraine, Forestry Tasmania said.
Forestry spokesman, Bob Hamilton said the man had sufficient food and supplies and was “happy to wait a few days while FT works to find a way out”.
Meanwhile, a nursing home in Penguin was evacuated as a precautionary measure.
Bartlett said the total damage bill would not be known until the waters receded, but said the floods had taken their toll on roads, rather than houses.
“It’s highly likely that out of the recent couple of days’ incidents in Tasmania, it’ll be infrastructure such as roads, stormwater drains and other facilities that will need repair,” he said.
“But I don’t have an accurate picture of that yet.”