• Short Summary

    Blinding rain storms brought absolute chaos to Australia's biggest city, Sydney, and have killed two people.

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    Blinding rain storms brought absolute chaos to Australia's biggest city, Sydney, and have killed two people.

    The rain storms, whipped up by Cyclone Alison, started to drench Sydney on Monday and by Tuesday dumped more than eight inches (about 20 c.m.) of rain.

    Many roads were flooded, scores of homes and shops inundated and several cars were swept into the harbour.

    Traffic was paralysed by floods reported to have covered cars in some areas. Public transport, too, came to a halt when floods in underground tunnels and roads stopped electric trains and buses.

    A landslide cut off the major steel-making city of Wollongong, 50 miles (80 kilometres) to the south. The city was on emergency alert after receiving about 20 inches (51 c.m.) of rain in a 24-hour period.

    SYNOPSIS: Blinding storms dumped more than eight inches of rain in Sydney and its suburbs on Monday. By Tuesday, the rain storms, whipped up by Cyclone Alison, brought more heavy downpours and added another two inches of rain on the drenched city.

    Roads were turned into waterways and naturally the first casualties were cars. In some places the water was so deep that they were completely submerged. In others it was deep enough to wash them together, blocking all traffic. Some cars were even swept into Sydney Harbour. The city's motoring organisation said hundreds of people had sought their help.

    In an eastern suburb, police were called to this house where a storm-water drain burst under its foundations--gouging a huge hole.

    One of the traffic police's main problems was the Glebe Island bridge. Part of the roadway subsided. It was closed for an hour to allow engineers to inspect the hole in the outside lane. All the lanes except the affected one were later re-opened to traffic.

    During the storm a motorist was killed when his car was swept away. Hours later an old woman died -- apparently of a heart attack -- when swirling water hit her car. The torrential rains caused several landslides, including a major one which cut off the steel-making city of Wollongong about fifty miles to the south. It received twenty inches of rain and was placed on emergency alert.

    The deluge brought floods to the tunnels and halted Sydney's underground services. Bus services, too, were cut down because of flooded roads which caused massive traffic chaos. The rain storms subsided after Tuesday.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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