Weather Woman still missing in flooded Lismore
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Woman still missing in flooded Lismore

Thousands ordered to evacuate flood-hit zones

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Rescuers are still searching for a missing aged-care nurse whose car became trapped in floodwaters, as the flood levee continues to spill in the already devastated NSW regional city of Lismore.

Anita Brakel, 55, became trapped in her white Holden station wagon at Monaltrie, south of Lismore, about 10pm on Tuesday.

No trace of Ms Brakel or her car has been recovered, despite searches involving Police Rescue, Water Police and NSW SES volunteers.

A public appeal for information was launched on Wednesday.

Anger is growing in the community about the response from official agencies about the flood risk in the Northern Rivers.

“I was incredibly disappointed with the instructions from the SES,” Lismore resident Nancy Casson told the Nine Network.

“We had an evacuation and then a non-evacuation, and then an evacuation again. I was so confused.

“I don’t know what is lacking in their instructions to us. I don’t know why they constantly get it wrong.”

Major flooding continued in Lismore on Thursday morning, with the Wilsons River likely to continue spilling over its levee until the afternoon, when river levels should begin to ease.

The river peaked on Wednesday at 11.4 metres, just below a predicted 12 metre high.

Further south, major flooding is expected at Ulmarra and Maclean from Thursday morning, and at Grafton on Thursday afternoon as the Clarence River peaks at about 5.7 metres.

On the NSW mid-north coast, the Bellinger River peaked on Wednesday, while moderate flooding continues in Thora and Bellingen.

Kempsey was also experiencing moderate floods on Thursday. Similar conditions are likely at Smithtown, with the Macleay River likely to hit 6.3 metres in the city.

Meanwhile, NSW Flood Recovery Minister Steph Cooke urged people donating to flood victims to use official channels so those on the ground did not become overwhelmed with items.

Some 54,000 items worth about $620,000 have been handed over through the non-profit organisation GIVIT since March, when flooding began.

“The best way people can help communities in times of need is via the official donation channels,” Ms Cooke said.

The NSW government’s arrangement with GIVIT means councils, charities and community groups can ask for what is needed, and GIVIT allocates those resources through its warehouses.

-AAP