Tragedy as body of nurse missing in floodwaters is found – as police continue search for her car
- Body of missing nurse Alina Brakel has been found in floodwaters on Thursday
- The 55-year-old became trapped in her car south of Lismore on Tuesday night
- She called police at 10pm to say she was in trouble, but could not be found
- Police said she was from Nowra but recruited to the area to care for the elderly
The body of a nurse who disappeared in floodwaters in northern NSW earlier this week has been found.
Alina Brakel, 55, was reported missing on Tuesday night after she became trapped in her white Holden Captiva station wagon at Monaltrie, south of Lismore.
The aged care nurse, from Nowra, had desperately called police for help when she ran into trouble in floodwaters on Wyrallah Road.
The Body of Alina Brakel, 55, (pictured) has been found on Thursday after she disappeared in floodwaters near South Lismore
After an extensive search the body of a woman was located in flood waters near the intersection of Alexandra Parade and Tweed Street, North Lismore, about 7pm on Thursday.
The body is yet to be formally identified but it is strongly believed to be Ms Brakel.
Police said Ms Brakel’s Holden Captiva, with NSW registration YHS 51F, is still missing.
Police located Ms Brakel’s body on Thursday following information from a member of the public, after an appeal was launched.
Ms Brakel became trapped in her white Holden station wagon at Monaltrie, south of Lismore, due to floodwaters about 10pm on Tuesday
Ms Brakel phoned police to say she was trapped in floodwaters on Wyrallah Road Pictured: Floodwaters in Lismore on March 31
Meanwhile, 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 was continuing in Lismore on Thursday morning, with the Wilsons River likely to continue spilling over its levee until Thursday afternoon, when river levels should begin to ease.
The river peaked on Wednesday at 11.4 metres, just below a predicted 12 metre high.
Police say she was driving a 2017 white Holden Captiva station wagon (model pictured), with NSW registration YHS 51F
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 Mid North Coast, the Bellinger River peaked on Wednesday, while moderate flooding continues in Thora and Bellingen.
Kempsey is also experiencing moderate floods on Thursday. Similar conditions are likely at Smithtown, with the Macleay River likely to hit 6.3m in the city.
Meanwhile, Flood Recovery Minister Steph Cooke urged people donating to flood victims to use official channels so people on the ground do 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.