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Rescuers save thousands from Australia floods

Rescues like this one are happening all over eastern Australia as officials urge residents to heed flood warnings. Helicopters have lifted more than a thousand people to safety in the Queensland town of Bundaberg alone. The flooding claimed at least four lives, including a three year old boy hit by a falling tree. (SOUNDBITE)(English) JACK DEMPSEY, QUEENSLAND POLICE MINISTER SAYING: "The main priorities at the moment on the ground is life and we really do implore people to go to the highest points, listen to the emergency service workers and their directions." A man in northern New South Wales was stranded on a pontoon after trying to stop his boat from being swept away. Volunteers pulled him safely to shore. The state's premier praised efforts from rescue services and locals. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW SOUTH WALES PREMIER, BARRY O'FARRELL, SAYING: "One of the great things about this country is through our emergency services, not only in New South Wales, but across the country, we not only enlist the best professionals to help, plan and prepare, but the community steps up and volunteers its services." An estimated 250,000 homes were without power as residents continue to evacuate. A tropical low moving south along Queensland's coast and fed by downgraded cyclone Oswald is causing the record flooding.

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