An elderly woman has died after being caught in floodwaters near Katherine in a remote Northern Territory Aboriginal community.
Northern Territory Police said they believed the woman was travelling in a car with four other people when they became stranded in Door Creek, near the community of Beswick, about 100 kilometres east of Katherine.
Assistant Commissioner Jeanette Kerr said police saw the stranded car on Sunday evening while they were travelling to Beswick by helicopter.
“They discovered five occupants stranded in the vehicle,” Assistant Commissioner Kerr said.
“And the woman had been unable to escape and drowned.
“CPR was conducted, but unfortunately they were unable to save her.”
She said a coroner was investigating the woman’s death and the other four people in the car were safe.
“This is the second person washed away this Christmas in floodwaters,” Assistant Commissioner Kerr said.
“A 28-year-old man was also washed away — he was with two others trying to swim a flooded creek in Peppimenarti, and unfortunately he wasn’t strong enough to make it to the other side.”
The other two men managed to swim to safety.
The search for the man, missing since Christmas Day, resumed on Sunday morning.
Rescuers said the water was too high and moving too fast to allow boat searches but helicopters were still sweeping the area.
Severe thunderstorms, heavy rain and winds are forecast for areas including Katherine as a tropical low pressure system moves across the state towards Queensland.
Residents in affected areas were warned to take precautions.
“Create your own sandbags if there is flooding by using pillow cases or shopping bags filled with sand and place them around doorways to protect your home,” the latest Bureau of Meteorology warning advised.
An earlier cyclone watch in the Gulf of Carpentaria was cancelled but the threat remained, experts said.
NT Police, Fire and Emergency Commander Bruce Porter advised motorists to take extra precautions.
“I continue to urge everyone to exercise extreme caution on the roads and to consider the necessity of their travel plans,” Commander Porter said.
“The last thing we want is for anyone to become an unnecessary statistic.”
Emergency situation declared
On Saturday Northern Territory Deputy Chief Minister Willem Westra Van Holthe declared the Daly River region an emergency situation, and enlisted private helicopter companies to start evacuating the residents.
About half the community of Daly River (Nauiyu) spent Saturday night in Darwin’s Foskey Pavilion after being evacuated by helicopter and bus due to floodwaters.
The remaining 234 people were evacuated from the community on Sunday.
Acting Senior Sergeant Dean Barrett said the residents would stay in Darwin for as long as necessary.
“The length of time I am unsure of, it just depends on when they can return to their communities,” he said.
“Obviously the damage has got to be assessed and other issues but obviously at some point in time they’ll return to their country, where they want to live.”
This post originally appeared on ABC News and was republished here with full permission.
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