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4 dead as flooding hits Australia

BRISBANE, Australia — Torrential rains have flooded thousands of homes in eastern Australia, with more rain and high winds expected in Queensland and New South Wales.

The disaster has killed four people, including a 3-year-old boy who was hit by a falling tree in the Queensland state capital, Brisbane, the Australian Associated Press said Monday.

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It said officials were preparing for another day of evacuations along the eastern coast, where hundreds of homes have been cut off by floodwaters.

Steve Pearce, the State Emergency Services deputy commissioner, said some areas in northern New South Wales had been hit by more than about 20 inches of rain, with more than 2,000 people isolated by floodwaters.

‘‘We’re expecting flash flooding, we’re expecting trees to be brought down, wires to be brought down by these winds,’’ Pearce said. ‘‘We’re expecting a very challenging 24 hours in front of us.’’

Floodwaters have also cut off all roads between New South Wales and Queensland.

More than 2,000 homes are under water in the worst-affected city of Bundaberg, 240 miles to the north of Brisbane.

Other states are still battling wildfires after record temperatures this month.

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