Floods sweep man-eating crocodiles on to streets

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The Independent Online

Severe flooding in Queensland has washed saltwater crocodiles out of swollen rivers and into urban areas, where one 13ft "saltie" has been stalking residents and dogs.

The crocodile was spotted in the main street of Normanton, on Queensland's north-west coast, which has been cut off by flood waters for four weeks. In Townsville, on the east coast, a 5ft crocodile was hit by a car, and is receiving medical attention. Weeks of flooding caused by a series of rain depressions and two cyclones have left a number of north Queensland towns cut off.

In the worst-hit town, Ingham, nearly 2,000 homes have been affected, with 50 totally swamped and dozens of people evacuated to emergency accommodation. With more floods forecast, the state's deputy premier, Paul Lucas, said the ground could not cope with more rain. "It's like pouring water over a wet towel," he said.

The disruption to transport means the residents of Normanton are bracing themselves for the beer to run out. "We can put up with a lot of drama, no fruit and veggies, but nobody wants a pub with no beer," Donna Smith, manager of the Albion Hotel, told the Courier-Mail newspaper.