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Woman rescued from floodwaters as wet weather continues across the Top End

By Bridget Judd and staff, Monday February 5, 2018 - 15:35 EDT
ABC image
Drivers continued to cross the flooded road, despite a rescue being underway. - ABC

A woman has been rescued from the roof of her car, after it was washed off a flooded causeway near Palmerston.

NT Emergency Services volunteers had to use a small boat to retrieve the woman at the Old Bynoe Road crossing on Sunday.

The flood gauge had a reading of 1.2 metres, and "impassable" signs were also in place at the time of the incident.

"The driver is lucky the water wasn't much deeper or flowing faster," NTES Northern Command regional manager Mark Cunnington said.

"The situation could have ended in tragedy."

The woman's car remains stranded.

Emergency services have also expressed concerns after other drivers continued to use the crossing while the rescue was underway.

"It's disappointing that people simply are not heeding our message to avoid driving through flooded crossings," Mr Cunnington said.

"To hear of people driving through this crossing while we are rescuing someone at the time with the consequences clear in your face is ridiculous."

More rain to come, very low chance of cyclone

The Bureau of Meteorology said the Top End should prepare for another drenching when more storms sweep through this week.

Record rainfalls have soaked much of the northern coastal areas, of some communities because of flood risks.

The region was expected to receive another 200 to 300 millimetres of rain this week.

"We will see increasing showers and storms throughout this week — that means increased cloudiness, lower temperatures," the bureau's Angela Prasad said.

"So we're not calling it a monsoon even because the trough's come from down south, but we will see westerly winds in our coastal waters to the north."

Recent rainfall has prompted a dramatic increase in aquifer levels, with a 14.2 metre water level rise recorded at the Howard Springs monitoring site.

The BOM said there was a chance a weak tropical low would form within the trough near the northern coastline in the next couple of days.

It is not expected to spend time over water, the bureau said, which meant there was a very low chance of a tropical cyclone forming within the next few days.

Driving flooded roads risks lives, police say

A week ago after attempting to drive through flooded causeways across the Top End.

In one incident, a number of people were rescued from a four-wheel-drive, which was ute towing a boat, that was swept off the Arnhem Highway at Marrakai, 100 kilometres south-east of Darwin.

With more rain forecast, police are urging motorists not to drive on roads that have been closed, and to take precautions when driving off main arterial roads.

"Have a good think about what you are about to do. At best, you'll lose your car and your insurance," Mr Cunnington said.

"At worst, it's your life or that of a loved one."


© ABC 2018

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