A tourist trapped in a car that was swept into a river in flash flooding has been found safe, Northern Territory Police say. There were three occupants in the vehicle, two escaped while the third was missing for several hours. All three are being transported to Alice Springs Hospital, however only minor injuries were reported.
Witnesses say the tourists attempted to cross a flooded causeway on Larapinta Drive when it was swept into Hugh River. It travelled 250m down the river, rolled over a few times, and was wedged up against a tree. The vehicle disappeared and police held "grave concerns" for the occupant.
Territory Duty Superintendent Brendan Muldoon issued a plea to motorists to stay away from flood waters as many roads in the area remain impassable.
"We are urging motorists not to cross causeways or enter rivers... it's a very dangerous situation we have at the moment."
Acting Superintendent Muldoon said the rescue effort was complicated "by the fact there is no mobile reception in this area".
A rescue operation is underway where a tourist remains missing after a car was swept away near Alice Springs. Photo: Grenville Turner pic.twitter.com/6aJa6xNte2
— Jano Gibson (@janogibson) December 27, 2016
Five adults and a baby remain missing after leaving Kiwirrkurra in Western Australia in two cars headed for the Northern Territory. They never arrived to their destination of Kintore and are believed to be bogged. Acting Superintendent Muldoon said flooding and a lack of mobile reception have inhibited search efforts.
"Basically there's been about 100km of that road we've been unable to search," Acting Superintendent Muldoon said.
"The infant is with their parents. We don't know what food or water they have with them but there's plenty of water in that area due to the flooding."
In Kintore it is estimated that around 398mm of rain fell in the community on Monday, forcing 96 residents to evacuate to the local school.
"There are currently 85 people at the evacuation point. Assessments of the damage will be made to determine when it is safe for people to return to their homes, however this may take a couple of days to complete," Superintendent Vicary said.
"Water levels reached one metre and was fast flowing in parts, however it has now receded. A number of roads in the area remain impassable, and it is advised that people avoid the area and make alternative travel arrangements if possible."
Record rainfall was recorded across the Northern Territory, forcing the closure of Uluru national park, with operators citing an "extreme weather event". The Bureau of Meteorology said the weather system passing over the area was a "one-in-50-year rainfall event".
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