Before and after aerial pictures show how floods swept through Queensland and NSW towns

Newly released aerial images show the extent of the flooding that has devastated parts of Queensland and New South Wales in the past week.

Torrential rain and flood waters have impacted communities along the east coast, from Maryborough in Queensland to Grafton in NSW.

Across south-east Queensland, at least 33 areas were inundated by more than 1m of rainfall between 23 and 28 February. In Brisbane 792.8mm fell over the six days to 9am on 28 February, flooding an estimated 15,000 homes across the city.

Thousands were told to evacuate as flood waters then surged in the northern rivers district of NSW, laying waste to towns and washing away cattle. The low-lying city of Lismore experienced its worst flooding since modern records began.

Striking new high-resolution pictures, taken before and after the flooding by an aerial camera system attached to planes, reveal some of the extensive damage.

Images show the suburb of Albion, in Brisbane’s inner north-east, on 24 January and 2 March. The suburb is bounded by Breakfast Creek, a tributary of the Brisbane River. The multi-lane road shown is Sandgate Road, a major thoroughfare.

Oxley, in Brisbane’s south-west, was also badly affected by the 2011 flood. These shots show it on 9 February and 2 March.

An inundated carpark in Beenleigh, south of Brisbane.

Lismore is built on the banks of the Wilsons River, which peaked at 14.4m on 28 February. The Lismore Memorial Baths were inundated.

The lower image shows flooded houses in Girards Hill, a suburb of Lismore. The city is susceptible to floods, notably in 2017, 1974, and 1954. “In Lismore we have experienced floods forever,” resident and incoming NSW Greens upper house member Sue Higginson has written. “This is an emergency – a climate emergency.”

On 28 February, an evacuation alert was issued for residents in low-lying areas of Southgate, on the Clarence River north-east of Grafton. The region was also hit by flooding in 2021.

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