A five-year-old child goes missing after being washed away in floods in western NSW.
Two vehicles got stuck in flooding around 8 p.m. Friday on McGrane Way in Tullamore, northwest of Parkes.
Emergency services rescued four people who were clinging to trees, but were told the child had not been taken care of.
The vehicles remain under water and the police are waiting on the spot until they can access them.
‘Evolving’ weather system
The looming low-pressure area that caused torrential rains and flooded dozens of river systems is beginning to move offshore, but the situation is still “evolving,” according to forecasters.
Severe falls subsided Friday in the interior of NSW and the state’s northern coast, causing forecasters to cancel a severe weather warning as the low-pressure system began moving offshore.
“This is an evolving situation and the Bureau of Meteorology is closely monitoring rainfall and river heights,” the BOM said in a statement on Friday.
Flood warnings remain in effect Saturday for 28 river systems from the western interior to the Northern Rivers and the Mid North Coast.
Severe thunderstorms are forecast to dump more buckets of rain across the east coast on Saturday as cells stretch from the Queensland border to the Blue Mountains, raising the risk of flash flooding, downed trees, fallen power lines and dangerous driving conditions.
Flood warnings remain in effect for the Tweed, Wilsons, Clarence, Bellinger, Nambucca, Macleay, Orara, Upper Macintyre, Macintyre, Gwydir, Peel, Namoi, Castlereagh, Macquarie, Bogan, Lachlan, Murrumbidgee, Belubula, Culgoa, Birrie, Bokhara, Narran , Warrego, Paroo, Darling and Upper Murray, Murray and Edward Rivers.
In the city of Gunnedah, home to 9,000 people, the Namoi River passed major flood levels, reaching 7.9 meters late Friday night and expected to peak at 8.3 meters on Saturday morning.
At Wee Waa, just 75 miles (75 km) northwest, water peaked at the Namoi on Thursday and is slowly declining, while the BOM predicts they will remain above major flood levels until next week.
Wee Waa, a cotton town, is protected by a five-mile causeway, but Narrabri Shire mayor Ron Campbell told AAP the rainfall has destroyed local roads.
“If we get a lot of rain all summer, we could definitely have a record flood — probably something not seen since the 1970s,” Campbell said.
The wet weather had alarmed the Tumbulgum community on the Tweed River when locals saw the river overflow and reach their paddocks on Friday.
‘Always very sharp’
Many local residents remained very vigilant after major floods that hit the region earlier this year, Harriet Messenger, co-owner of Husk Distillers, told AAP.
“Everyone in the region is always very sharp, especially so close to another big event,” she said.
Farmers in northern Queensland also faced a few anxious days after heavy falls in the north of the state, but a severe thunderstorm warning was canceled on Friday.
Organic farmer David Freeman in Currumbin Valley suffered loss of his leafy green crops and told AAP he feared the wild would have killed half of his avocado trees again.
“They are very sick as a result of the last 12 months of heavy rainfall due to the saturated soil… and this deluge will only re-saturate the soil and cause more soil fungal problems,” Mr Freeman said.
“(The rain) weighs heavily on the farmers because we just got devastated early this year.”