Worst flooding in decades sweeps away homes and animals

Homes, roads and livestock have been washed away or cut off in Australia as the country faces its worst flooding in decades.

Parts of New South Wales have seen almost 1m of rain and more is forecast with the peak coming on Tuesday.

Thousands of people have been evacuated and troops deployed as the government warned the floods were extremely dangerous.

Millions in most of the country are under weather warnings.

No deaths have been reported which New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian called a "miracle given what we have been through". Prime Minister Scott Morrison told MPs there was "serious risk still ahead"

Some 18,000 people have been evacuated so far in the state, including a 37-year-old woman in labour who was airlifted after being trapped by the flooding west of Sydney.

Spiders and snakes attempting to escape the floodwaters have been seen swarming inside resident's homes.

In one village south of Port Macquarie 889mm of rain was recorded between 9am Thursday and 9am Monday.

Scott Donnellan, a Presbyterian minister in Port Macquarie, told the BBC some people had toughed it out when the evacuation orders came but had to "abandon ship" when the water reached waist height.

He said the community was pulling together but was expecting "one final punch" from the weather.