Cyclone Debbie: Death toll rises and three people missing after NSW and Queensland floods

By news.com.au

The search continues this morning for three people still missing after ex-cyclone Debbie ravaged northern New South Wales and southeast Queensland.

Police continue to search for David Heidemann, 50, who was last seen around 8pm Thursday (local time) leaving an address in Mondure, northwest of the Gold Coast.

He told family he was meeting a friend on nearby Campbells Road, the Courier Mail reported.

The death toll from the floods rose to four following the discovery of the bodies of two men.

One 45-year-old man was located at a caravan park at Tweed Valley Way, South Murwillumbah in New South Wales, while police confirmed Nelson Raebel, 77, from Eagleby, had also been found deceased.

He was found by emergency crews yesterday not far from where he was last seen near Eagleby Road, south of Brisbane.

Landslides have made it difficult for police who have had to bring in bobcats to clear roads before search on foot.

It comes as locals begin returning to their homes faced with a massive clean-up.

Landslides have made it difficult for police who have had to bring in bobcats to clear roads before search on foot. Photo / Facebook Rebecca Takken
Landslides have made it difficult for police who have had to bring in bobcats to clear roads before search on foot. Photo / Facebook Rebecca Takken

About 20,000 NSW residents were still under evacuation orders overnight. They're being warned to stay away from their homes for now to avoid the risk posed by polluted floodwater.

"You've got carcasses in the water now from livestock," SES commissioner Mark Smethurst said.

"You've got sewage in the water now. It's not safe to go in there."

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian is expected to visit northern NSW on Monday and has pledged every resource to help those affected.

"I say to everybody who's impacted in the northern part of the state, seven million people or so are thinking about you, and are concerned for you," she said yesterday.

- news.com.au

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