Australian towns evacuated amid flooding from ex-cyclone

Communities along Australia's east coast have been evacuated as floodwaters sparked by the remnants of a powerful cyclone poured into roads and threatened to inundate homes across the region.

Officials told thousands of residents of low-lying communities in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales to move to higher ground on Friday as floodwaters from rain-swollen rivers swamped the area.

The region has been subjected to days of drenching rains after Cyclone Debbie slammed into the Queensland coast on Tuesday with winds up to 260 kilometers (160 miles) an hour. The storm quickly weakened as it moved inland, but continued to dump rain across Queensland and New South Wales through Thursday.

Emergency officials have rescued more than 200 people from floodwaters.