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Queensland floods as cyclone sweeps past

Last updated 14:35 25/01/2013
ABC News

Australian rescue teams stage a dramatic rescue of a teenager in floodwaters in Queensland.

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Dramatic scenes have unfolded in central Queensland where a teenager has been rescued from raging floodwaters, as the remnants of ex-tropical cyclone Oswald lash the region.

The 14-year-old boy was found clinging to a tree in floodwaters in Rockhampton this morning.

Six swift water rescue crews rushed to the scene and managed to reach the teen.

As the boy grabbed hold of a tree, and climbed towards other rescuers waiting on a bank, the man who'd saved him was swept away.

He went under a nearby bridge but was able to pull himself up onto a bank. He was taken away in an ambulance but is believed to be fine.

Dozens of stranded people have been rescued from homes and cars overnight and this morning as the state struggled to cope with the deluge.

More than 70 roads, including major highways, have been cut by floodwaters since Oswald was downgraded to a storm after crossing the Cape York Peninsula's west coast on Tuesday.

Rockhampton was suffering its wettest day in 60 years and councillor Bill Ludwig said many parts of the city were under water, and the city was also experiencing ''very  destructive winds''.

''They're saying this is not a cyclone but it's not far off it,''  Ludwig told ABC TV.

He said he was not going to venture outside the building where  he was on Friday morning, while a large corrugated sheet of iron  was flapping from another building nearby.

A search was underway for two fisherman whose boat started taking on water off Rockhampton.

The skipper of the 38-foot fishing vessel made the call early this morning.

He told authorities he was in Casuarina Passage.

Rough weather conditions prevented authorities from launching an  immediate search, police said.

Air and sea searches began this morning, but heavy rain and high  winds are hampering the operation.

The ABC said planes were unable to land at Rockhampton because of  the 90kmh winds, heavy rain and poor visibility, while many roads  are inaccessible.

In the flood-hit Rockhampton suburb of Frenchville, a house has  been hit by a large landslide.

The home was still standing but debris was piled up against the two-storey dwelling, the Department of  Community Safety said.

At Yeppoon, northeast of Rockhampton, more than 10 homes have flooded and people were sandbagging other properties in a bid to save them, the ABC reported.

"We've had some flash flooding in low lying areas, and those low lying areas are all still cut," one Yeppoon resident told the broadcaster.

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