Missing man’s ute found in Canungra flood waters as NSW records first death from disaster

Rescue crews are trying to recover a missing man’s ute submerged upside down in a swollen Gold Coast hinterland creek and a NSW man has died after his car was trapped in flood waters northwest of Sydney as the flood emergency in two states continues.

Mar 24, 2021, updated Mar 24, 2021

A rescue mission is underway on the Gold Coast after the missing man’s car was found in flood water in Canungra Creek.

David Hornman, 38, was last seen on Monday and his family says he has not made contact since departing to Tamborine mountain for a job.

NSW Police said in a statement that they responded to the car being trapped in floodwaters at Glenorie in north western Sydney about 6.25am on Wednesday.

The vehicle was found after 1pm with the man’s body inside. He has not yet been formally identified and police are investigating his death.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian expressed her condolences to the man’s family.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences to all the loved ones of that person and obviously I will allow the state emergency services to further outline those details,” she said.

In Queensland, severe weather warnings have been cancelled in the hardest-hit areas in southern Queensland as the region cleans up after days of extreme weather.

A flood watch remains in place for the south east of the state, but the Bureau of Meteorology predicts conditions will settle on Wednesday.

The focus remains on the Gold Coast hinterland, with the bureau maintaining a major flood warning for the Logan River and a minor flood warning for the Albert River for Wedensday afternoon.

Some showers and thunderstorms are forecast for the area but these are unlikely to affect flood levels.

Heavy rain has caused havoc in recent days with the risk of landslides prompting evacuations on the Gold Coast.

More than 100 properties were inspected for damage throughout the south east, and there were 840 calls for help.

At least 20 schools were closed due to flooding and cut roads, and authorities warned drivers to stay at home wherever possible.

The cleanup and recovery effort will be assisted by state and federal funding for the Gold Coast, Logan and Scenic Rim councils.

“Days of continuous heavy rainfall has resulted in widespread damage to roads, several landslides and extensive debris over road networks,” federal Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said.

“Flooded roads and causeways have also led to isolation and other disruptions to communities.”

The “if it’s flooded-forget it” message again failed to get through to all drivers as video emerged of cars chancing flooded routes.

A person was assessed for minor injuries after a car got stuck in floodwaters in suburban Brisbane on Tuesday night

Rain hit from the Gold Coast to the South Australian border, with north Stradbroke Island receiving more than 200 millilitres on Tuesday.

Graziers to the drought-stricken west reported some of the best falls in years.

A major flood warning is active for the Logan River, and a moderate flood warning has been issued for the Albert River, both south of Brisbane.

“While rainfall is easing, flood warnings remain in place for the Logan and Albert Rivers,” Logan city authorities said on Tuesday night.

East of Brisbane, Lake Manchester Dam is spilling water and Seqwater has warned those downstream to avoid fast-flowing waterways and flood plains.

The Nerang and Coomera rivers on the Gold Coast have burst their banks, and there’s a flood warning for Maroochy and Mooloolah rivers on the Sunshine Coast.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services co-ordinator Brian Cox urged people not to leave their homes and if they do to take extreme caution.

“Be really vigilant, I mean the first thing is don’t go out today, don’t,” he told 4BC Radio.

“But if you do, please drive by the road conditions, look out for pedestrians, cyclists. We’re asking people to be really, really cautious.

“It will not take much with the current rainfall they’ve already experienced, and the saturation levels we’ve currently got across southeast Queensland, for any minor storm to hit, to raise those flood levels and water levels across roads and as you know that can be quite dangerous.”

Seqwater started to release more water from the Enoggera, Gold Creek, Hinze, Lake Macdonald, Leslie Harrison, Little Nerang, Sideling Creek and Wappa dams.

The company said the Nindooinbah and Poona dams were also overflowing.


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