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Man's floodwater death devastates Qld town

AAP logoAAP 4/01/2017 Melissa Grant

A small community in far north Queensland is reeling from the death of a popular farmer who drowned in floodwaters while trying to help others.

Alfonso Muoio, 60, was warning motorists about rising floods when he slipped off a bridge and into a swollen creek at Tolga, southwest of Cairns, around 6pm on Wednesday.

Mr Muoio's body was found on Thursday morning in the Barron River, about seven kilometres away from where he was last seen.

The married father's death has devastated the Tolga community, where he was well known for growing "beautiful vegetables".

Tablelands mayor Joe Paronella said it was a tragedy for the close-knit town.

"He was very well liked and respected in the community," Mr Paronella told AAP.

"He was trying to be a good Samaritan by advising people not to drive through the fast waters."

Mr Muoio was swept away near his property as severe storms caused much more treacherous conditions than usual.

Several other people who had been directing traffic tried desperately to rescue him.

"It was just so swift and anyone who fell in would have had a dreadful time trying to get out of the water," Mr Paronella said.

Tributes have begun to flow for Mr Muoio who is being remembered as a "lovely" and "hardworking" man.

"Devastated! Alfonso was the loveliest man ... my thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful family," one woman posted on Facebook.

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