Lucky escape for pair from flooded waters at Comobella

Flood: A pair had a lucky escape when their truck became stuck in floodwater at Comobella, while at Dubbo the Macquarie River was four metres and rising. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Flood: A pair had a lucky escape when their truck became stuck in floodwater at Comobella, while at Dubbo the Macquarie River was four metres and rising. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

A frightening flood rescue at Comobella on Sunday night could have ended “much worse”, according to the State Emergency Service (SES).

SES Macquarie region operations officer Gavin Arnold said two people in a large truck became trapped on Sunday night when they attempted top cross a flooded causeway on Cobbora Road at Mitchell Creek.

“When you looked at that causeway it was quite frightening,” Mr Arnold said.

“The width, the depth, the speed the water was flowing, I was quite frightened at how much worse the situation could have been.”

Instead, the pair was rescued without incident.

It was one of eight rescues attended by Macquarie region volunteers in less than 12 hours, between 5.30pm on Sunday and 4am on Monday.

Volunteers also responded to rescues at Coonabarabran, Gulgong, Mudgee and Lue.

“It is a lot in one short period, in one night,” Mr Arnold said.

“Most of them were associated with people driving into floodwater, especially causeways, so people were driving into causeways that were swollen and became stranded in the middle of the causeway.

“When we had the rain a couple of weeks ago we had similar numbers [of rescues] but they were spread over a long period and more units.”

Flash flooding was largely to blame for rescues at the start of September, Mr Arnold said, when almost 60 millimetres fell in just four days at Dubbo.

But in the 24 hours to 9am on Monday, 20.6 millimetres fell at Dubbo, while at Wellington 27 mm fell in the same period.

By Monday afternoon the Macquarie River had risen above four metres at Dubbo.

“People don’t realise the dangers of driving through floodwaters, they don’t realise the risk that they’re putting themselves and the rescuers in,” Mr Arnold said.

“People see floodwaters on a road or a causeway [that] they’ve travelled everyday to and from work or to and from a property and when there’s as little as 300 millimetres flowing across there very fast.

“It may not look deep or very wide but fast-flowing water changes the situation quite dramatically.”

He said “if it’s flooded, forget it”.

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