Australia: Hit by heavy flooding after record heat wave

Australia: Hit by heavy flooding after record heat wave (Seven Network/CNN)

Devastating flooding in northeast Australia has forced thousands of people from their homes -- and even brought snakes and crocodiles onto the streets -- as authorities warn of strong winds and more rain on the way.

Much of the city of Townsville in Queensland state is flooded -- with residents left without power and some compelled to seek safety on the roofs of their homes -- according to CNN affiliate Seven News.

Intense rain on Sunday forced authorities to open the floodgates on the Ross River Dam to relieve pressure and prevent a collapse.

This released thousands of cubic meters of water per second downriver.

Hundreds of homes in Townsville have already been inundated -- Seven News is reporting -- and there are fears that between 10 thousand and 20 thousand more could be at risk from the bad weather.

The overwhelming downpours come as Australia is reeling from a record-breaking heat wave that affected all eight of its states and territories.

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