Flood death toll climbs with river tragedy
POLICE divers are due to join the search operation after a vehicle entered the Tweed River, near Tumbulgum in northern NSW.
Emergency services were called to Dulguigan Rd about 1.40pm today after a child, who was travelling in the vehicle, was able to escape and raise the alarm with residents at a nearby property.
Three other people were understood to be in the vehicle at the time it entered the water.
Boats using sonar equipment located the vehicle about five metres from the northern river bank around 3.25pm today.
That child is being cared for by family members.
A crime scene guard will remain at the scene overnight. Police drivers are travelling up from Sydney. The search will resume tomorrow morning.
Road closures are in place for two kilometres south from the intersection of Dulguigan and MacCauley's roads.
Matthew Roser, 46, died of a heart attack around 2am Friday morning as floodwaters gushed into his South Murwillumbah home, The Daily Telegraph has reported.
During ex-Cyclone Debbie three people have been confirmed dead, including one woman and two men from the Tweed.
UPDATE, Sunday 8am:
POLICE are investigating after a man's body was found in South Murwillumbah.
Emergency services were called to a caravan park, on Tweed Valley Way, South Murwillumbah, just after 1.30pm today, following reports a 45-year-old man's body had been located.
Officers attached to Tweed/Byron Local Area Command will commence inquiries into the incident.
A post mortem examination is expected to be conducted next week to determine the cause of death.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.
UPDATE, Saturday 5.41pm:
THE SES has this afternoon confirmed the body of a woman found by a family member 20km south of Murwillumbahon Friday died as a result of the floods.
The 36-year-old was found dead after she disappeared in floodwaters at the rural property at Upper Burringbar.
Speaking to the media on Saturday, SES Acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Morrow again warned communities to take care in flood waters.
"Amongst the devastation that is the property loses on the Tweed-Byron and the Richmond communities is the unfortunate issue of two deaths that we have suffered through the course of this flood event.
"We are able to confirm there was a 36-year-old woman who has died as a result of her interaction with the flood at a place called Upper Burringbar.
"And in the Hunter Valley area through the course of Friday morning we were alerted to the loss of a 64-year-old woman."
The woman died in a car after it was swept off a causeway at Gungal on Thursday night.
"That tragedy highlights the message we want to communicate to the community," Mr Morrow said.
"There is a particular risk you take when you interact with the flood waters.
"We know there is times you will find yourself unexpectedly caught out in a flood environment.
"But if you have a choice, make the right decision and stay out of the flood environment."
Since Wednesday, SES volunteers have rescued more than 400 people and responded to more than 2220 calls for help.
UPDATE, Friday 6pm:
A WOMAN'S body has been found on a flooded property about 20km south of Murwillumbah at Upper Burringbar.
Police from Tweed/Byron Local Area Command have been told the woman disappeared in floodwaters overnight from a rural property on Upper Burringbar Road.
Her body was found at the property by a family member about 8am, Friday.
Police have not established how the woman came to be in the flood waters.
Inquiries are underway and a post mortem is expected to be conducted next week.
FRIDAY 3pm: MEMBERS of the public have told NSW Police a body was found at Murwillumbah, as the town was inundated with flood waters.
A spokeswoman confirmed NSW Police officers are investigating reports of a body being found, but their efforts are been hampered by bad weather.
"We can't physically get there to the site where the body has been reported so we cannot confirm a person was deceased or that is was flood-related," the police spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman said the matter was complicated and police would continue to attempt to access the area.
NSW SES Deputy Commissioner Mark Morrow earlier said there were 130 flood rescues overnight on Thursday, but not everyone who called for help could be reached.
"There could be people overnight that perished in that flood, we don't know at this stage," he told ABC television on Friday.
"We expect this morning that as we start to go out and try to find people that made those calls overnight, there could be some very distressing news."