Floods and torrential rain have caused significant damage in the Sydney region, claiming at least five lives.
Despite the rain easing, record-breaking flash floods continue to wreak havoc along the NSW coast with two people missing believed drowned after their car became submerged and washed away on a flooded Maitland road.
Three people died on Tuesday in floodwaters in the Hunter Valley township of Dungog.
The Insurance Council of Australia told the Newsroom insurance companies had so far received over 19,500 calls with a total of over $129 million in claims.
NSW Premier Mike Baird told the media the storm will be declared a natural disaster, making it possible to issue recovery assistance and grants to help rebuild communities.
The city has experienced damaging winds averaging 60 to 70 kilometres per hour with gusts of more than 100 kilometres per hour along the coast line. Power lines have come down, leaving about 200,000 homes and businesses without power in Sydney, the Central Coast and the Hunter region.
Homes near Manly Dam were evacuated because of potential flooding, while transport services between Turrella and Kingsgrove were suspended.
As the three-day storm reached its peak on Wednesday, emergency services were responding to reports of people trapped in floods at Toongabbie, Rossmore and Bexley. – Jacinta Scott
Top photo by Sharon Mridul.