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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Body of aged care nurse missing in NSW floods believed found

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A body believed to be that of a missing aged care nurse has been found in far northern New South Wales.

NSW Police believe they have recovered the body of Alina Brakel, who went missing in floodwaters south of Lismore almost three days ago.

The body of a 55-year-old woman was found on Thursday evening in floodwaters in North Lismore.

A member of the public alerted police after finding the body near the intersection of Alexandra Parade and Tweed Street, North Lismore, shortly before 7pm yesterday.

While the body is yet to be formally identified, police believe it is Brakel, who became trapped in her white station wagon at Monaltrie, south of Lismore, about 10pm on Tuesday.

An investigation into the woman’s death is believed to be underway and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

The 2017 Holden Captiva, with NSW registration YHS 51F, she was driving has now also been located.

Alina Brakel, a 55-year-old Registered Nurse, was tragically caught up in floods that inundated the north-eastern New South Wales town of Lismore. The much loved, dedicated nurse had only moved to the town a matter of weeks ago to start a new nursing job.

There has been a public outpouring of grief on social media regarding the passing of the dedicated and much loved nurse, who made friends with care staff across the country as she travelled from town to town on a variety of contract roles.

“The kindest lady I had the pleasure to work with… RIP beautiful lady you will be much missed,” ex-colleague Tammy Davies, said.

“This is devastating,” Julia Foster, a registered nurse who went to studied alongside Brakel, said.

“You were always such wonderful company…  Never short of a laugh, you will be dearly missed by your beautiful boys.”

Tragically, Brakel’s own social media posts indicate that she had only moved to Lismore a matter of weeks ago to begin a new nursing contract, beginning March 21.

She was previously working an hour’s drive south in the small coastal town of Yamba.

Meanwhile, strong gale force winds, heavy surf and high tides are expected over southern NSW on Friday as floodwaters in the north of the state generally recede.

The rains that have battered the north for most of the week are now easing, as Lismore and Byron Bay reel from another round of flooding.

Wilsons River at Lismore peaked at 11.4 metres, although that was below expectations of 12m.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says the waters are now below the 10.6-metre height of the city’s levee.

But evacuation orders are in place from North Lismore to as far south as the Lower Macleay, north-west of Port Macquarie.

With two low pressure systems colliding over the state’s southeast, rainfall is hitting Newcastle and Sydney on Friday, and is expected to extend down to the Victorian border into the weekend before easing on Sunday.

Gusts will pick up with speeds reaching up to 100 kilometres per hour.

Waves also will be much higher around coastal areas possibly reaching nine metres, the BOM said.

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