Cyclone Debbie leaves tens of thousands stranded

Cheryl Sanders
April 6, 2017

Lismore, south of Murwillumbah near the NSW coast was hard hit, with the State Emergency Service (SES) warning of three-metre (10-feet) high flood levels in the town.

Authorities on Friday warned that the severe flooding in the area caused by Cyclone Debbie could result in casualties.

He added: "We were pretty amazed, we were turning up to shoot a flooding road, we weren't expecting to see wildlife as well".

"It won't just be on Wednesday, it will be a gradual rise, so I encourage people to move now".

Queensland police tweeted 'we now have four people missing. that we have serious concerns about, ' including a 77-year-old man.

Others have tried to stick it out to save their properties. Evacuation orders have been issued for areas near Beaudesert and Beenleigh as a result of flooding from the Logan River. Look at the signs over there, the houses.

"We can't afford to put other people at risk at this stage ... to try to find him".

'People have lost everything.

Authorities had feared that people may have died overnight as floodwaters rose swiftly in the dark.

"Do not do anything that is even remotely risky, please protect yourselves and those around you, they are very unsafe conditions", NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was quoted as saying by the ABC.

Many roads in parts of Queensland, including here in Ipswich, were flooded by the massive storm that hit the state this week.

Damage assessments are ongoing in northern Queensland, where the Category 4 Cyclone Debbie made landfall earlier this week. But the storm still packed damaging winds and dumped huge amounts of rain all the way down the east coast to Sydney and beyond before blowing out over the Tasman Sea.

The body of 77-year-old Nelson Raebel was found in floodwaters in the state of Queensland Saturday afternoon, Queensland Police said, bringing the national death toll to three since the cyclone hit Tuesday.

Residents of Lismore and Tweed Heads near Murwillumbah were late Sunday cleared to return to their homes as waters subsided, but face a tough clean-up ahead.

Tens of thousands of people in the affected areas are without electricity.

The army has mobilised around 1,300 soldiers to assess the full extent of the damage and help provide emergency aid to the stranded people.

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