Cop braves rising floodwaters to rescue family of three, including 4-yr-old boy, trapped in sinking car
'If it's flooded, forget it,' NSW Police tweeted, urging citizens to exercise caution while driving in the inclement weather
BINGLEBURRA, NEW SOUTH WALES: On Thursday, September 22, the police came to the aid of a family of three who were trapped in floodwaters in a rural part of New South Wales. The NSW Police were alerted to the flooded causeway along Lyons Road, Bingleburra, west of Dungog, before 9.30 am on Thursday in response to reports of three people being trapped in a car.
A senior officer discovered the trio, a four-year-old boy and two women, stuck in their car approximately 5 meters off dry land and immersed in water that had risen to the windows. The officer braved the floodwaters while tied to a rope and retrieved the four-year-old through the car window with the aid of a mother who was clinging to the outside of the vehicle.
The officer helped the youngster and got him to safety before returning to assist the 51-year-old woman, whose foot was wedged under a boulder, and got her to dry land. The other woman, 44, was still in the car, so he went back to rescue her. Fortunately, none of the three were hurt, and NSW Ambulance paramedics treated them for shock on the spot.
Three people have been rescued by a police officer after they became trapped in their car by floodwaters in Bingleburra in the state’s Hunter region today.— NSW Police Force (@nswpolice) September 22, 2022
Remember, if it's flooded, forget it! https://t.co/7ZcNkKz4zp pic.twitter.com/4993EVDXhd
Police announced that although it was a valiant effort, the rescue served as a caution to not drive into floodwaters. "If it's flooded, forget it. Members of the public are advised to avoid all non-essential travel, stay informed and be ready to respond to any evacuation orders," NSW Police stated.
On Thursday, September 22, the NSW SES responded to 543 requests and carried out 49 flood rescues as rainstorms drenched most of the state. Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke stated that the state is experiencing its third straight La Nina, and that the severe weather that is threatening inland NSW is "the start of a very long season."
A deep low pressure system is currently over northern #NSW. #SevereWeatherWarning is current for possible heavy rainfall about the #MidNorthCoast and #NorthernRivers, with flash flooding and river rises expected from possible heavy rain.— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) September 21, 2022
Monitor Warnings: https://t.co/aWsADZzYxA pic.twitter.com/uCGoyB5vZs
"We're facing challenges on multiple fronts with prolonged flooding through the west and northwest," Cooke said. Days of uncertainty lay ahead for flood-weary areas as the severe weather moved closer to the shore, according to Cooke.
Cooke stated, "We're at the start of a very long season, we expect. This is the third consecutive La Nina that has been declared by the Bureau of Meteorology and as we have seen all year, our catchments, our landscapes are highly saturated."
The cloud band that dropped rain across significant portions of inland NSW this week was settling across the state's north coast, according to Bureau of Meteorology Hazard Preparedness and Response Manager Jane Golding. The past 24 to 36 hours have seen 100mm of rainfall in some parts of the north, and further rain and thunderstorms are expected on Friday and Saturday, according to the forecaster.