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Teen’s body found in NSW floodwaters

Authorities in NSW say the floods are leading to more interactions between snakes and people.

Authorities in NSW say the floods are leading to more interactions between snakes and people. Photo: AAP

The body of a young man who went missing while swimming in floodwaters in southern NSW has been found.

The discovery was made in Balranald about 8.30am on Wednesday as police began a fifth day of searching for signs of the 19-year-old.

He went missing on Saturday while swimming in the Riverina town.

It’s the third death this month linked to NSW’s flooding crisis after Ljubisa “Les” Vugec, 85, and Dianne Smith, 60, died when the central western town of Eugowra was devastated by floodwaters.

Meanwhile, the main flood peak on the Murrumbidgee River has passed the town of Hay, providing some relief to council crews patrolling the town’s levee day and night.

“Flood gates and drainage pipes will be opened as allowed as the river falls,” Hay Shire Council said.

“We ask for patience as staff start pumps to remove water built up from any rainfall, especially if there is a short, sharp rainfall event.”

The Riverina town of Balranald is expecting major flooding over the weekend, while the State Emergency Service (SES) is also concerned about major flooding continuing in the Lachlan River towns of Condobolin, Euabalong and Hillston.

“Planning continues for potential major flooding and consequences on communities through to the end of February 2023,” the SES said on Wednesday.

Farmers are also being warned after increased snake sightings as the reptiles flee the floodwaters affecting vast swathes of inland NSW.

It’s a double whammy for farmers after months of flooding that has isolated towns and torn apart rural roads – hampering vets’ efforts to treat livestock bitten by snakes.

NSW Farmers Rural Affairs Committee’s Sarah Thompson says the increase in snake sightings being reported is a worry.

“People with dogs who are going out to move stranded livestock are at a higher risk of being bitten,” she said on Wednesday.

“This is happening everywhere.

“We’ve heard recently about livestock being lost to snakes because some farms are more like islands than paddocks, and they can’t get to a vet.”

When it comes to snakes biting humans, the NSW Poisons Information Centre says a pressure-immobilisation bandage – about as tight as one for a sprained ankle – is recommended for victims, who should also remain as still as possible.

Meanwhile, a northern NSW welfare services co-ordinator has been named NSW’s Public Servant of the Year.

Amanda Causley led the co-ordination of 54 evacuation centres to support northern NSW communities affected by floods, including developing strategies to find suitable accommodation for 1600 people in Lismore.

“Her commitment to ensuring the success of the evacuation centres and going above and beyond to support citizens in need has improved how NSW government delivers for the people of NSW,” the state’s public service commissioner, Kathrina Lo, said in a statement.

– AAP

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