Tasmania Police hold grave concerns for a man missing from Ouse and a woman missing from Latrobe this morning.
The search and rescue operation, using police, search and rescue specialists, State Emergency Service staff and volunteers and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter has unfortunately found no trace of the missing man.
Inspector McCreadie said “Significant resources were used today in an attempt to locate the missing man, but our efforts have been hampered by the conditions and the flood waters.”
At this time search operations have been suspended until first light with consideration to the height of the river and safety considerations.
In Latrobe, flood waters are still too dangerous to search the home of a missing woman, who is aged in her 70s. Her husband was rescued by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter at 9am this morning (June 6) via the roof of the property.
“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who are missing, at this difficult time.”
Several other people have been evacuated by boat in Latrobe. A group of 7 people were rescued from a property near Latrobe, with the assistance of community members and their dinghy.
Police also rescued a family of three from the roof of their vehicle, after it was washed from the Mersey Main Road.
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter has assisted in the rescue of approximately 107 people from flood affected areas today.
Exceptionally heavy rain has fallen across Northern Tasmania over the past 36 hours. This has led to major flooding on the Mersey, Forth, North Esk Rivers. Major flooding is developing today (6 June) in the South Esk, Meander, Ouse and Derwent Rivers.
- SES is working with Tasmania Police and other agencies to help ensure public safety as we deal with this significant flood event.
- All available SES crews are working statewide to assist residents with flood affected properties (there are around 550 volunteers).
- SES state and regional operations centres are active in Hobart, the North West, North and South.
- We have had 270 requests for assistance (60 still open) so far today.
- More than 100 properties have been inundated by the floods.
- A number of people have been evacuated from their properties in the communities of Latrobe, Ouse, Newstead and the Meander Valley.
- We’ve rescued several people from their vehicles when they have entered flood waters.
- We’ve been sandbagging businesses in Latrobe, assisting police in evacuating affected schools and responding to requests for assistance.
- It’s too early to give an estimate of damage to infrastructure – our priority is to respond to the situation.
- More rain is forecast for Wednesday and Thursday so we urge people to be prepared.
- SES is being supported by TFS and is working closely with other agencies including the Bureau of Meteorology, Tasmania Police and Municipal Councils.
Advice to community:
Evacuation Centres have been set up at:
- Launceston – Albert Hall, Cnr Cimitiere and Tamar Streets
- Wynyard – Railway Institute Hall, Station Street (Back of airport)
- East Devonport – East Devonport Recreation Ground, Caroline Street
- Deloraine – Deloraine Community Centre, Alverston Drive Deloraine
- New Norfolk – Carinya Community Centre
- Do not go near flood waters, drains or culverts.
- Do not drive, walk, swim or cycle through flood waters.
- Stay away from beaches as potentially 8m swells are expected on Northern East Coast of the state.
- Beware of damaged trees and keep clear of fallen powerlines and floodwaters surrounding them.
- Check that family and neighbours are aware of warnings.
- Check on livestock and pets to ensure they are safe from floodwaters.
- Drive to the conditions. If you don’t need to drive in the wet, stay indoors.
- Listen to ABC local radio or check www.ses.tas.gov.au for regular updates.
- Road closures check www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts.
FOR FLOOD AND EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE CONTACT SES ON 132 500