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Australia Starts Clean-Up, 1,000 Stranded After Storm

June 12 (Bloomberg) -- Residents in the Australian city of Newcastle and surrounding towns are cleaning up today after the worst floods in 36 years caused emergency services to evacuate 15,000 residents. About 1,000 people remain isolated.
The Hunter River, located 200 kilometers (124 miles) north of Sydney, rose to 70 centimeters below its peak overflow level, according to the State Emergency Services Web site. Newcastle is the second-largest city in New South Wales, Australia's most- populous state.
``It will be days before the flood waters subside and the clean-up starts today,'' SES spokesman Steve Delaney said in an interview from Metford, a Hunter valley town. ``This is where the hard work begins.''
Flooding was caused by the most severe storm to hit the state since July 2005, which raged for four days and left nine people dead. The Hunter River rose as high as 10.7 meters (35 feet), according to the Web site.
Gale-force winds lashed New South Wales' coastline, causing ocean swells as high as 18 meters and leading a coal ship to run aground. The storm was created by low pressure systems converging off the state's mid-north coast. About 34,000 homes remain without power, Sky News reported today on its Web site.

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