Floods, storms and lightning cause havoc

Horses surrounded by floodwaters in Rosharon, Texas. Photo / AP
Horses surrounded by floodwaters in Rosharon, Texas. Photo / AP

United States

Torrential rains in Texas which caused flooding that killed 16 people last week has spread to southern Louisiana, leaving parts of that state and Mississippi under a flash flood watch, according to the National Weather Service.

Heavy rains could strike the Florida panhandle early this week, but not as intensely as in Texas, Daniel Petersen, a meteorologist at the Weather Prediction Centre in Maryland, said.

Small streams in southern Louisiana have overflowed their banks, causing localised flooding, he added.

At least 16 people have died in Texas in the past week as some rivers swelled to levels not seen in more than 100 years, forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes in low-lying areas.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster in more than 30 counties, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.

In Bastrop County, southwest of the state capital of Austin, flooding damaged nearly 300 homes, it added.

Heavy rainfall was forecast to continue along the Texas coast and potentially trigger more flooding there, state and federal officials said.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice began evacuating on Saturday about 1700 inmates at its Ramsey Unit in Rosharon, due to flooding along the Brazos.

Australia

Torrential rain and damaging winds continue to pummel the New South Wales coast, with rising flood waters forcing evacuations in northern Sydney and on the state's north coast.

About 500 people have been evacuated across NSW, including residents from the North Narrabeen Caravan Park and the nearby Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation.

Police say students from the sports academy on the flood prone Wakehurst Parkway have been sent to the Narrabeen Surf Club due to fears Narrabeen Lake will flood.

Intense storms continue to slam Sydney and the Illawarra, after the rain and wind belted Queensland and northern NSW.

Emergency services have received almost 5500 calls for help and the State Emergency Service NSW has performed 105 flood rescues, half of which involve stranded motorists.

One woman has been charged with drink-driving after she was rescued from flood waters in the Illawarra region, police say.

Emergency Services Minister David Elliott has warned people not to take the risk.
"You wouldn't walk into a bushfire so why would you drive into floodwaters?" he asked reporters in Sydney.

More than 28,500 homes and businesses remain without power, according to energy networks Ausgrid and Endeavour.

Ausgrid workers are facing strong winds and fallen trees across the network as they work to restore power, a spokesperson said in a statement.

The weather system has moved down from the northern coastline, with its effects still being felt and the Wilson River at risk of flooding.

Flood fears have also prompted an evacuation order for locals at North Lismore, while residents in areas around Tweed and Tumbulgum are on alert for potential evacuations due to local river flood warnings.

The weather is moving south towards Tasmania.

Emergency services are racing to complete clean-up jobs on the Gold Coast. Flooding, fallen trees and damage to roofs were the most common complaints after the huge deluge on Saturday.

Europe

A woman takes photos of the flooded banks of the Seine River in Paris, France. Photo / AP
A woman takes photos of the flooded banks of the Seine River in Paris, France. Photo / AP

A major annual rock festival in western Germany resumed after storms and lightning injured dozens of people and disrupted the event for nearly 24 hours.

The problems getting the second day of the Rock am Ring show running were part of the havoc in Germany from a week of extreme weather that has left parts of southern Germany under water, causing an estimated €1 billion of damage.

Up to 82 people may have been hit by one lightning blast on Saturday, including 15 reported to be seriously injured.

Live music performances were suspended for about 90 minutes while rescue teams dealt with the injured. The festival resumed later with about 90,000 fans in attendance.

On the other side of the country, in Nuremburg, the affiliated Rock am Park concert suffered about 30 minutes of heavy rain and thunder but continued otherwise unabated.

Residents evacuated following a landslide were allowed to return to their homes in the southwestern town of Schwaebisch Gmuend.

Floods in other parts of Germany - where at least seven people have been killed in recent days - brought out so many volunteers offering to help that traffic jams arose.

In France, the death toll from flooding rose to four but the situation was starting to ease, as the level of the Seine in Paris receded after reaching its highest point in three decades, causing the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay to close and move priceless artworks to safety.

Paris firefighters warned people to keep away from dangerous parts of the Seine, but crowds gathered on bridges yesterday to take pictures of the fast-flowing waters.

Across Europe, at least 17 people have been killed in floods caused by heavy rains that have trapped people in their homes and forced rescuers to navigate swamped streets in lifeboats.

- Daily Telegraph, AAP, DPA, Reuters

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 30 Sep 2016 23:58:52 Processing Time: 421ms