Families and pets waited on rooftops for emergency service crews to rescue them from deadly flooding across Lismore Tuesday. Thunderstorms delayed helicopter rescue crews on Monday.
Rescue crews, including fire departments and the Australian Army, flew over New South Wales homes looking for people who escaped the rising waters by heading to the roof.
LifeFlight took a video of the city submerged in water. The chopper just performed three winch rescues then landed on a newly formed "island" to evacuate five more people.
Wilson's River rose to 46 feet which topped the levee. So far, the New South Wales Police have only reported one death in the city, that of an elderly woman trapped inside her flooded home. Hundreds of residents are still unaccounted for.
The river at Lismore is slowly retreating, reported the Bureau of Meteorology. Not all rivers are receding, though, the Ballina Hospital to the east of Lismore was evacuated Tuesday. And dams have reached their capacity, and water is spilling over, including the Warragamba Dam.
Heavy rains that started last week undermined the earth. A landslide blocked Gwydir Highway in New South Wales.
The New South Wales (NSW) Premier, Dominic Perrottet, tweeted, "We are facing unprecedented flooding in NSW, and unfortunately, it's expected to worsen."
Queensland was hit hard by flooding rains too. Cars were submerged in a Brisbane suburb where some residents were evacuated by boat. Local media reports nine people have died in the state to date.
Mt. Glorious, Queensland, reported 18 inches of rain in 24 hours.
Brisbane saw a record 31 inches of rain in the past six days, surpassing the old 1974 record by six inches, reported the Bureau. They Tweeted, "We got 80% of our rainfall [for the year] in just three days." The city generally sees 47 inches of rain per year.
Fast water ripped boats from their docks and moorings. Watch as a houseboat is swept downriver, narrowly missing a bridge pier in Brisbane's Indooroopilly district.
Damage becomes more apparent as floodwaters recede. The Mitchelton Football Club found that the deluge ripped up their soccer pitch.
These storms are headed for Sydney. Brisbane is bracing for the next round of storms later in the week.
The Bureau issued flood warnings to over 100 miles of Australia's southeast coast.