Police find body of woman who drowned in NSW floods

Residents from Lismore to the Lower Macleay in northern NSW are under evacuation orders after a body believed to be that of a missing nurse was found.

Apr 01, 2022, updated Apr 01, 2022
The threat of floods in  Queensland is not over, according to Floodmapp
 (AAP Image/Darren England)

The threat of floods in Queensland is not over, according to Floodmapp (AAP Image/Darren England)

The State Emergency Services received 652 calls for help and performed 23 rescues in the last 24 hours.

Already drenched areas could see flash flooding, with saturated soil increasing the risk of falling trees, the SES warned on Friday.

NSW Police believe they have found the body of aged care nurse Anita Brakel, who went missing in floodwaters south of Lismore almost three days ago.

The body of a 55-year-old woman was found on Thursday evening in North Lismore.

While the body is yet to be formally identified, police believe it’s Ms Brakel, who became trapped in her white station wagon at Monaltrie about 10pm on Tuesday.

The 2017 Holden Captiva, with NSW registration YHS 51F, she was driving has not yet been found.

Meanwhile, strong gales, heavy surf and high tides are expected in southern NSW on Friday as floodwaters in the north of the state recede.

The rain that has battered the north for most of the week is now easing, as Lismore and Byron Bay reel from another round of flooding.

Wilsons River at Lismore peaked at 11.4 metres, although that was below expectations of 12m.
The Bureau of Meteorology says the waters are now below the 10.6m height of the city’s levee.

But evacuation orders are in place from North Lismore to as far south as the Lower Macleay, northwest of Port Macquarie.

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In Lismore, the Rapid Relief Team charity was donating tonnes of hay to flood-affected farmers to help them feed stock in the wake of two floods.

“Very, very devastating to come through Lismore and see what they’ve been through,” charity director Lester Sharples said.

“To see it again a second time, it’s gut-wrenching really.”

Thirty truckloads of hay were driven north from NSW’s Cowra and Griffith regions, with flooded roads adding hours to drivers’ journeys.

The charity has set up at Lismore’s airport where it’s doling out food while other agencies offer mental health and financial support.

“It’s important to get these farmers back online,” Mr Sharples said.

With two low pressure systems colliding over the state’s southeast, rainfall is hitting Newcastle and Sydney on Friday, and is expected to extend down to the Victorian border into the weekend before easing on Sunday.

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