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Floodwaters spread toward Australia's fire-ravaged south

Two men wade along a flooded road in the northern Australian town of Ingham after recent heavy rain. An evacuation plan has been put in place as authorities expect floodwaters to spread toward towns in the south. (REUTERS) 

Authorities are preparing to evacuate some residents of towns north of Sydney as rising floodwaters inundate a second state closer to Australia’s wildfire-devastated south.

State Emergency Service spokesman Phil Campbell told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio that the Bellinger River in the mid north region of New South Wales state has broken its banks on  Tuesday and is expected to flood homes in the town Bellingen.

He says recent rains would leave neighboring villages isolated for days and helicopters are on hand for evacuations.

To the north of New South Wales, most of Queensland state has been flooded for weeks. To the south in Victoria state, fire fighters have had little rain to help them battle wildfires that have killed at least 189 people.