A view of the floodwaters in south-east Queensland. File/AFP
Heavy rains drenched east Australia on Tuesday, triggering evacuation orders for thousands of flood-weary residents for the second time this month as authorities warned the intense weather is likely to persist for the next 24 hours.
Just as flood waters from record rainfall in Australia's eastern states began to recede, a return of extreme weather has renewed warnings for recovering residents.
The death toll from the latest floods rose to two as a man was found dead in Queensland state after his vehicle became stuck in floodwaters.
Australian Queensland Fire and Rescue Swift Water Rescue members move through the flooded streets. File/AFP
Several towns across northern New South Wales and southeast Queensland were still battling to clear tonnes of debris after devastating floods earlier in March killed at least 21 people and swept away hundreds of farms, houses and livestock.
Flash flooding hit parts of Sydney overnight Monday as the State Emergency Service (SES) rushed to warn people in low-lying areas and clear fallen trees in the city's north, Xinhua news agency reported.
The New South Wales (NSW) Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) issued a warning on Monday for moderate to major flooding in Lismore, the state's worst-hit town since heavy rainfall began in late February.
Many buildings inundated a month ago in some of the worst-hit regions are expected to be flooded again, New South Wales Emergency Services Minister Stephanie Cooke told reporters.
"It is an unfortunate reality of the current situation that we are facing," Cooke said.
Amid the recovery efforts, the Bureau of Meteorology on Tuesday warned of potentially life-threatening flash floods along the northern New South Wales coast across a distance of more than 500km (311 miles). There could be isolated rainfall of up to 300mm (12 inches) in some regions over six hours, the weather bureau said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Parliament that 35 communities in northern New South Wales had been isolated and emergency services had conducted more than 700 flood rescues.
At least nine people have died and more than a thousand people have been rescued. Authorities have warned that more fatalities are likely. The latest victim was a woman in her 80s, whose body was found by police inside a home in the country town of Lismore.
A man swept away by floodwaters in the city's northwest was rescued by emergency crews, media reported, while television footage showed vehicles struggling to cross waterlogged streets, fallen power lines and trees, and debris floating in rivers.
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