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20K still evacuated in Aus states due to floods

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Sydney:  Some 20,000 people in Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) were still unable to return to their homes on Thursday after being evacuated in the wake of the state’s flood crisis.

After days of downpours that battered the state, rain had eased and blue skies emerged over parts of NSW on Wednesday, but authorities warned that some areas were still at risk, dpa news agency reported.

It is believed most of the river systems have peaked in NSW, state premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a Thursday morning press conference.

But flows and currents are still strong in floodwaters, and Berejiklian urged the public to stay out of them.

Some 3,000 people returned to their homes on Wednesday, but 20,000 were still evacuated and tens of thousands remained on evacuation alert, Berejiklian said.

Authorities will need to check that roads are safe and bridges can support vehicles before giving the all-clear for returns, she said.

On the mid-north coast, communities have faced the worst flooding in almost a century.

NSW police confirmed the death of a man in floodwaters in Sydney on Wednesday.

Police in the neighbouring state of Queensland confirmed another death likely linked to flash flooding.

Both bodies were found in cars.

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