A big clean-up is under way after gale force winds wrecked
houses, cut power and felled trees across parts of Sydney and
the NSW south coast.
In the state's north around 20,000 people remain isolated by
floodwaters but conditions are easing as swollen rivers
disgorge their extra loads into the sea.
The State Emergency Service had received nearly 5000 calls
for help from across the state by late Sunday evening.
More than 2000 were in the Sydney area where 100kmh winds
resulted in an asbestos scare.
In the city's southeast, savage gusts extensively damaged the
roof of the RSL club in Malabar, causing sheets of asbestos
to fly onto nearby homes and roads.
A number of streets were blocked off by Fire and Rescue NSW
crews on Sunday, as private contractors were tasked with
cleaning up the area.
Residents were told not to panic about air contamination but
to contact the NSW Environment Protection Authority if they
noticed asbestos near their homes or backyards.
"There is no need for residents to be concerned that the air
they breathe is contaminated," Superintendent Paul Bailey
told Fairfax Media.
Elsewhere in Sydney's east, locals described wind gusts that
felt like "mini tornadoes", which damaged a primary school
and tore part of the roof off Fox Studios.
The SES also responded to around 400 calls on the south
coast, where Kiama was the hardest hit, SES spokeswoman Becky
"We had three homes that were completely written off, and
seven others that suffered significant damage," she told AAP.
"We had a lot of trees down and roof damage."
SES spokesman Phil Campbell said severe storms in parts of
western Sydney and the Illawarra on Sunday night had not
resulted in too many calls for help.
He said SES crews and firefighters had been busy making
temporary repairs to wind-damaged houses at Malabar, Kiama
Mr Campbell said the SES had performed 75 flood rescues since
the low pressure system hit the state on Friday.
One of those was of seven campers rescued by helicopter on
Sunday morning from their camping site beside the Clyde River
near Ulladulla on the south coast after they were stranded by
Around 20,600 people in 39 separate communities remained
isolated by floodwaters on the NSW mid-north coast on Sunday
night while about 4150 people were still affected by
evacuation orders or warnings.
Some properties at Port Macquarie flooded on Sunday morning
as the Hastings River swelled to its expected peak of 1.8
The Macleay River at Kempsey peaked at 7m on Sunday near the
town's CBD, about 30 centimetres below expectations, causing
some inundation but not the feared flooding of many shops and
On Sunday night the main affected flood areas were downstream
of Kempsey and downstream of Grafton on the Clarence.
"The flooding is easing, all the rivers have peaked past the
major towns and are now moving down towards the mouths of the
various rivers," Mr Campbell said.
A few people with medical issues had been moved from isolated
communities which would be resupplied with essential items if
required by flood boats or helicopters, he said.
Ausgrid said around 1000 homes were expected to be without
power on Sunday night across Sydney's north and the Central
Coast after the storms cut power to more than 20,000 homes.
Two people died in the floods including a man found in his
submerged car at Mylneford, northwest of Grafton, and a
17-year-old boy swept into a drainpipe while collecting golf
balls in the town of Kew, near Port Macquarie.