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As the Australian floods worsen, Brisbane authorities are warning those who have not yet evacuated the city to consider doing so before flood levels rise even further.

The most recent estimates suggest that 20,000 homes, 3,500 businesses and 2,100 roads will be hit by the massive flood as the swollen Brisbane River peaks at 17ft early on Thursday morning.


"Brisbane will go to sleep tonight and wake up to scenes many will never have seen before in their lives," Premier Anna Bligh warned as the city braced braced for more than 50 suburbs to be inundated with rapidly rising water


The Brisbane City Council has warned that raw sewage is washing into the river after treatment plants were damaged, raising fears of disease. Tens of thousands of people are also without electricity, after power was cut to many parts of city for safety reasons.

Lucinda Kent, 19, is trapped in her family home with her parents in the riverside suburb of St Lucia.

"It was very eerie waking up this morning because it's just been a perfect, sunny day here -- not a spot of rain and a blue sky," she told the LA Times.

"But the houses at the end of the street were flooded up to their first floors when I got up.

"It started rising about a metre every hour or so, it was pretty fast – there are shops at the end of the street that just yesterday we were buying milk from, and now they're under water."

Meanwhile, three mean were charged with looting after allegedly trying to steal boats from the swollen river.

Community leaders in nearby Ipswich were quick to warn other people with the same idea that they would be met with swift justice.

Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale told the Brisbane Times: “If I find anybody looting in our city they will be used as flood markers.

And councillor Paul Tully said instant jail-time was the “only option” for those who preyed on citizens hit by the natural disaster.

“I’ve just heard that police are investigating three men in a canoe on suspicion of looting houses in some of the worst hit parts of Goodna,” Cr Tully said.

“[These people are] scum of the earth.

[View:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDip6a9kfB0&feature=player_embedded#!]


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