The submerged car of a woman who went missing more than a week ago, around the time devastating floods hit the area, has been discovered by police.
Her body was not inside the car.
Adele Morrison, 78, was last seen leaving her Port Macquarie home at 6am on Tuesday last week, March 17.
The next day her family reported her missing, finding it “out of character” that she had not been in contact with them.
Police found her red 2017 Toyota Corolla hatchback around 11.15am on Thursday.
The car was partially covered in floodwaters feeding into the Barrington River, along the state’s Mid North Coast.
Local police officers and the SES extracted the car from the water.
Next Monday, police will undergo a “coordinated search” to locate Morrison.
They are unable to do so at this time because of flooding and road closures.
“We’re continuing to make inquiries to locate her and urge anyone with information to come forward,” NSW Police said in a statement.
Inquiries have already uncovered that she was at a shopping centre in Gloucester at 1045am last Tuesday.
Police are particularly worried about Morrison’s welfare due to her age and also the extreme weather conditions in the area.
Morrison is described as being of caucasian appearance, between 150cm to 160cm tall, with a medium build, grey hair and hazel eyes.
She is known to frequent the Gloucester, Maclean, Nabiac, Berrico and Barrington Tops areas.
It comes as a man in Sydney and another man in Queensland lost their lives after drowning in their cars.
Both drove into floodwaters and were unable to escape their vehicles.
The flooding continues
The number of NSW flood refugees is “trickling down”, with fewer than 9000 remaining as rivers across the state recede and the sun returns.
A further 76,000 people have been permitted to return home or have been released from warnings.
About 500 SES volunteers remain in the field.
At least 1300 properties have been assessed for damage so far, with 75 declared “potentially uninhabitable”.
Evacuation orders were lifted in several northwestern Sydney areas late on Thursday including South Creek at Mulgrave and the Hawkesbury River from Wisemans Ferry to Brooklyn and in Vineyard.
Most remaining orders are around Moree, the Clarence River in northern NSW and the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley in northwest Sydney.
Major flooding continued on Friday morning at Maclean in the northern rivers region, while the situation in Grafton and Ulmarra has eased.
Now the focus turns to inland rivers, through which huge volumes of water will flow into the Menindee Lakes.
A flood peak is moving through Boggabilla on the Queensland border and will work its way through the Barwon and Darling rivers over the next three months.
– With AAP