Monday's Quicky: Flooding, firefighting widow, Thai shooting.

1. A bushfire extinguished and years worth of drinking water for drought ravaged towns.

It’s been a wet weekend for most of the east coast, with 100,000 affected by power outages in New South Wales and communities north-west of Sydney forced to evacuate.

NSW Ambulance paramedics told 9News, they’ve been responding to five car accidents every hour since Friday night.

Four people have been hospitalised from a fallen tree in Sydney’s CBD, and a 16-year-old boy has suspected broken ribs after being trapped in waist-deep water for two hours in the Hunter.

In good news, the Currowan Fire on the NSW South Coast  – which has been burning since November, destroying 499,621 hectares – was finally extinguished on the weekend thanks to the downpours.

Further north, the Queensland town of Warwick received two years’ of drinking water, and more rain than they received in 2019 in its entirety.

The state’s southern interior is getting more rain this week, which is good news for places like Stanthorpe that need more than a downpour.

They ran out of drinking water in January and had to start trucking in water from a nearby dam.


South East Queensland’s overall water grid level currently sits at 57.2 percent.

READ MORE: From flash flooding to destructive wind: 15 photos of Australia’s extreme weather over the weekend.

2. “He told me he loved me.” Mel’s husband Andrew died fighting the bushfires in December.

Andrew O’Dwyer died alongside his volunteer firefighter colleague and mate Geoff Keaton a week before Christmas.

A burning tree fell onto the cabin of their truck while they were fighting the bushfire that was burning out of control near Buxton, south-west of Sydney.

Andrew’s wife Mel has spoken to 60 Minutes, and said “I read a message on his phone afterwards that he’d actually said that they were going to hell”.

andrew owdyer and family
Mel, Charlotte and Andrew O'Dwyer. Image: Facebook.

Before he left for the day, he told Mel he loved her, and she said it back.

"It still doesn't feel real to me. It's not until I actually really sit down and think he's not coming back – that's hard," she told 60 Minutes. 

Andrew left behind not just Mel, but his 21-month old daughter, Charlotte.

"I'm devastated for Charlotte, she doesn't get to see her dad and he doesn't get to see her grow up," an emotional Mel told Tara Brown.

"My husband is gone, I miss him a lot."

Read More: Geoffrey and Andrew spent hours fighting the NSW bushfires.


3. 29 dead and 57 injured in Thailand's worst ever shooting.

A soldier with a grudge over a financial dispute first killed two people on a military base on Saturday, before driving to a local shopping mall and opening fire.

The attack happened in Nakhon Ratchasima, a hub for Thailand's relatively poorer and rural northeastern region, and it took 16 hours to end the crisis.

The gunman was updating Facebook as he carried out the shooting, writing things like "No one can escape death," and "Should I give up?"

29 people were killed and 57 injured in a shooting in Thailand on Saturday. Image: AAP/EPA/RUNGROJ YONGRIT.

He also complained about people who grow rich by cheating and taking advantage of others. "Do they think they can spend the money in hell?" he wrote.

Eventually, the 32-year-old gunman was shot dead.

Terrifying footage from the shooting - the worst in Thailand's history - shows shoppers diving for cover.

Stories of bravery are emerging, with local shop owners taking dozens of shoppers into their premises and hiding with them all night long while the shooting waged on.

Thousands have attended vigils for the dead, with monks leading prayers and laying white flowers in memory of the victims.

Feature Image: AAP/Joel Carrett.

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