A farmer has died after his car was swept away by rushing water during another night of wild weather on Australia’s east coast.
Queensland rescue crews had been searching for the man on a property in Killarney, in the Southern Downs region, late Wednesday night after a deluge caused sudden flooding.
More than 130 millimetres of rain fell in three hours, prompting locals to head outside to move property and animals to shelter.
The 69-year-old local man who was swept away had been in his paddocks moving cattle to higher ground amid concerns the Condamine River would break its banks.
The river rose so quickly it appeared the man did not have time to evacuate. He was washed away as water rushed through his property on Condamine River Road about 8.30pm.
Queensland Police confirmed on Thursday morning the man’s body was found inside his car at 12.20am. The vehicle had been carried 100 metres downstream.
Local residents had earlier expressed delight – that the river was running again – and concern at the risks posed by the sudden downpour, with roads threatened and debris being carried by the fast-moving water.
Meanwhile, there were also callouts for rescue crews in NSW, where most of the state was battered by heavy rain and thunderstorms when an expected reprieve failed to eventuate.
Residents near Grafton, Ulmarra and Maclean have been warned flood waters there will continue to rise on Thursday morning.
Murwillumbah locals also remain on alert for rising water levels on the Tweed River.
The warning zone for severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall covered almost the entire state on Wednesday night – from the Queensland border and Lismore in the north to Albury at the Victorian border, and taking in the entire central west.
Only the state’s far west and pockets of the south coast and mid-north coast were to be spared the drenching.
Lismore, in NSW’s north, had been particularly soaked on Wednesday, copping 199 millimetres by 5pm. More than 120 millimetres of that rain fell in just three hours.
The town faced flash flooding in the CBD and possible moderate flooding of the Wilsons River.
South of Sydney, the Southern Highlands was also unusually wet. Moss Vale had 80 millimetres of rain between 4.30-7pm.
Across the border in Victoria, storms were also possible as a broad low-pressure trough dragged moist and unsettled air into the state.
It came as northern areas of NSW finally began to mop up after six days of heavy rain brought flooding and evacuation orders.