NSW man flees car washed down river

NSW man flees car washed down river

A man who climbed out of his car as it was being washed away in floodwaters has been rescued after sheltering in a NSW cabin for two days.


Michael Bermingham’s car was washed off a road near Upper Allyn on Tuesday night but the 56-year-old reportedly managed to escape along with his dog after his car was swept three kilometres down the flooded Allyn River.

“I was being rumbled and tumbled and turned around in water upside down,” he told ABC at John Hunter Hospital.

He said he may have been in the waters for nearly 20 minutes before he managed to escape and make his way to a nearby cabin to the north of Dungog.

Mr Bermingham was found on Thursday shortly after his belongings were found nearby by members of the public.

He is in a stable condition at John Hunter Hospital.

Recovery efforts around the state are continuing as residents return home to assess the damage in Raymond Terrace.

“The storm waters have rattled quite a few of the houses. There is going to be a bit of a clean-up,” Port Stephens Deputy Mayor Chris Doohan told AAP.

For those returning home it could be hard to know how to get support to repair damage, Legal Aid Disaster Response co-ordinator Brenda Staggs said.

“When people have been through something traumatic like this, dealing with insurers can be a little bit confusing,” Ms Staggs said.

Although the damage was not as extensive as the havoc wreaked by storms in the region in April, she expected many calls in the coming weeks.

She also reminded people that temporary accommodation costs could be claimed from insurers.

NRMA insurance spokeswoman said they had already had around 860 claims for storm damage to homes across NSW and the damage was quite widespread.

SES has reminded people not to take risks around floodwaters even as the weather cleared.

“It is particularly dangerous after events. That’s when we have some bad accidents,” SES spokeswoman Sue Pritchard said, warning people not risk driving through areas until floodwaters had cleared.

Rescue crews are still searching for experienced yachtsman Mal Lennon, 62, after he was washed overboard by a large wave while at the helm of his yacht Amante on the NSW mid-north coast on Wednesday.

The search near Broughton Island off the coast of Port Stephens is being carried out by marine police but rescuers say there is little chance the sailor survived rough sea conditions.