Sydney residents evacuated as storm pummels Australian east coast
Torrential rain and damaging winds continue to pummel Australia's NSW coast, with rising flood waters forcing evacuations in northern Sydney and on the state's north coast.
About 500 people have been evacuated across NSW, including residents from a caravan park and from the Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation.
Police say students from the sports academy have been sent to the a local surf club due to fears Narrabeen Lake will flood.
Intense storms continue to slam Sydney and the Illawarra on Sunday, a day after the rain and wind belted Queensland and northern NSW.
New Zealander Kate Messervy, who has been living in Sydney for 15 years, said the situation was quite bad.
READ MORE: Sydney hit by 'very dangerous' weather
"Visibility is very bad and there are sections of inner city roads completely under water. I went in to work this morning to deal with storm damage and leaks in the roof," she said.
The storm has brought down trees, including on that crushed a car across the road from Messervey's home in the Sydney suburb of Annandale.
Messervy sent a photo of the carnage back home to family in New Zealand, who thought it was "crazy".
Emergency services have received almost 5500 calls for help and the State Emergency Service NSW has performed 105 flood rescues, half of which involve stranded motorists.
One woman has been charged with drink-driving after she was rescued from flood waters in the Illawarra region, police say.
Emergency Services Minister David Elliott has warned people not to take the risk.
"You wouldn't walk into a bushfire so why would you drive into floodwaters?" he asked reporters in Sydney.
More than 28,500 homes and businesses remain without power, according to energy networks Ausgrid and Endeavour.
Ausgrid workers are facing strong winds and fallen trees across the network as they work to restore power, a spokesperson said in a statement.
The weather system has moved down from the northern coastline, with its effects still being felt and the Wilson River at risk of flooding on Sunday afternoon.
Flood fears have also prompted an evacuation order for locals at North Lismore, while residents in areas around Tweed and Tumbulgum are on alert for potential evacuations due to local river flood warnings.
A minor flood warning has been issued for the Georges River in Sydney as the city is set to cop more pounding rain throughout the day, with predictions of 100mm of rain - and up to 200mm on the Illawarra escarpment.
Authorities will continue to watch rising rivers at the Hawkesbury and Nepean, where flooding across bridges could leave residents isolated on Monday.
"Nowhere is spared in this weather event," SES spokesman Phil Campbell said. Destructive wind gusts of 100km/h will continue along the entire coastline where surf conditions remain dangerous, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
"It's not a day to be on or near the water," senior meteorologist Adam Morgan said.
A 13-metre wave has been recorded at Crowdy Head on the mid north coast, while waves averaging four to six metres have been hitting Sydney.
Meanwhile, motorists are advised to avoid all non-essential travel as flash-flooding continues to swamp roads.
The weather is expected to start clearing in Sydney at about 5pm as the system moves south towards Tasmania.