Nearly 100 people have been rescued from floodwaters in New South Wales as powerful storms continue to hit the Australian state.
Three elderly people have been found dead in Dungog, north of Sydney, where homes have been washed away by flooding.
Some 200,000 homes across the state are still without power on Wednesday.
Australia’s weather agency has warned of more heavy rain and high winds before conditions ease later today.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has said that gusts of 100km/h (62mph) are still possible along the coast and that thunderstorms could lead to flash flooding for parts of the Sydney area and Illawarra district.
The State Emergency Service (SES) has said that it has received nearly 8,000 calls for help and has conducted 93 flood rescues.
“SES, transport electricity utility employees have all worked hard overnight and deserve our patience and profound gratitude,” tweeted NSW State Premier Mike Baird.
He urged workers to avoid travelling at peak times to try and ease the strain on transport networks struggling to cope with the storm.
A severe weather warning has been cancelled for the Hunter district but is still in place for the Sydney area and Illawarra because of damaging winds, heavy rain and very heavy surf.
Beach conditions are said to be especially dangerous in these areas and the BoM has urged people to “stay well away” from surf exposed areas.
Dungog has been one of the areas worst affected by flooding. NSW police reported the deaths of two men and one woman but said that it was still investigating the circumstances.
The town of Greta near Maitland has also been badly hit by quickly rising floodwaters. Maitland itself has had more than 300mm of rainfall since Tuesday morning.
An evacuation warning has been issued for the area around the Manly lagoon and the surrounding district.
SES Deputy Commissioner Steven Pearce told ABC News that he had never seen a storm such as this.
“I haven’t seen a storm of this magnitude in my time here at the SES and, indeed, this would be the largest storm operation in the last 10 years,” he said.
“We’ve never seen these cyclonic winds last for 24 hours straight. That’s what’s caused the majority of the damage.”
Local media have also reported waves of 15m (50ft) off Sydney.
A Carnival cruise ship that was trapped at sea has entered Sydney harbour, local media report.
The ship, carrying several thousand people, had got stuck after the harbour had to be closed because of rough conditions.
State-owned supplier Ausgrid has said that its crews are trying to repair damaged networks in several locations but it has asked for patience as some power lines are still falling.
Travel is still being disrupted in Sydney with heavy showers on Wednesday morning flooding some roads in the city.
A number of railway lines are still shut because of the storm, with several ferry services remaining closed.
Flights have also been disrupted at Sydney airport, with some international flights diverted.