3 people dead, 2 missing after savage storm hits Australia's east coast

Photo: Mark Nolan/ Getty Images.

Three men have died from floodwaters in separate incidents spanning Canberra to Sydney.

The first was 37-year-old man who was trapped in his car when it was swept away by raging floodwaters near Canberra.

Rescue teams were at the scene planning how to get him to safety when the vehicle was taken away by the torrent about 4:30pm on Sunday.

His body was found a short time later on an island in the Cotter River.

Another deceased man was found this morning in Leppington, in Sydney’s south-west.

Emergency services were called to Anthony Rd at 5pm last night after reports that a white ute entering a causeway was washed away.

Police searched flood affected area, helped by the State Emergency Service, without success. The search resumed at 6.30am today, and police located the body of a man in a vehicle.

Divers had to retrieve the man’s body.

In a separate incident at Bowral, emergency services were called to Mittagong Creek about 5.30pm yesterday, following reports a car was seen in flood waters with its hazard lights flashing.

Police and SES workers were unable to locate the vehicle until 8.30am today, when it was spotted in Mittagong Creek. Police found the body of a 65-year-old man inside, who is yet to be formally identified.

Two elderly people are also missing in Tasmania as heavy rain continues to fall on the state. A man in his 80s disappeared at the Cluny’s Rd area at Ouse, in the upper Derwent Valley in the state’s south.

In the north west, an elderly man was rescued through the roof of his flooded home at Latrobe, but his wife is still missing.

Police are urging motorists to take care on the roads and to not drive through floodwaters due to hidden dangers and debris. Drivers should never enter flood waters or cross flooded causeways.

Police suggest seeking an alternate route or delay your trip to ensure you get to your destination safely.

People are advised they can contact the NSW SES on 132 500 for emergency flood and storm help or visit their website here.

For weather warnings check www.bom.gov.au.

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