Australian towns brace for more flooding, death toll rises
State officials say the flooding death toll since November has risen to 9
Police: City of 75,000 now cut off by flood waters
Forecasters expect water levels will crest on Wednesday
Residents are stacking sandbags and boarding up shop windows to prepare
Sydney, Australia (CNN) -- Flood waters cut off the eastern Australian city of Rockhampton on Monday, Queensland police said.
Relief teams had vowed to rush food and relief supplies into the city of 75,000 until the last remaining highway into the city succumbed to the flooding.
The regional airport closed Sunday and is expected to remain closed for weeks, according to Emergency Management Queensland.
Seasonal flooding, which intensified about a week ago after monsoon rains caused rivers to spill their banks and reach record levels, had left thousands of people without homes and claimed nine lives across Queensland state by Monday, the state's Department of Community Safety said.
That tally includes three flood-related deaths from the latest deluge, and six other storm season flooding deaths beginning on November 30.
Forecasters said it could be days before conditions improve.
Water levels were expected to crest at 9.4 meters in Rockhampton on Wednesday, CNN meterologist Ivan Cabrera said.
Meanwhile, residents were stacking sandbags and boarding up shop windows Monday as they prepared for the deluge to continue.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard urged residents to stay away from floodwaters. On Friday she toured the devastation and said the flooding in Queensland will cost "hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars."