This handout photo shows an aerial view of the flooded northern New South Wales town of Woodburn. AFP
Police said it was "suspected" the pair are a missing mother and son whose car was abandoned in a stormwater canal.
Tens of thousands of Sydney residents have been told to evacuate their homes as severe storms and flash flooding inundated swathes of Australia's largest city Tuesday.
The national weather bureau warned of "a tough 48 hours ahead" for Sydney, with 60,000 people subject to evacuation orders and warnings across the affected areas, according to emergency services.
Intense rainfall across Sydney flooded bridges and homes, swept away cars and even collapsed the roof of a supermarket.
Australian Army soldiers assist the local community of Lismore. AFP
The Manly Dam, in the city's north, began to spill Tuesday, with 2,000 residents told to evacuate.
In the riverside suburb of Georges Hall vehicles were semi-submerged and police had to rescue stranded in their cars by rising floodwaters.
State emergency services have been stretched thin as the torrential rain and intense storms continued into a second week -- with flood warnings in place Tuesday for the entire 2,000-kilometre (1,250-mile) coastline of New South Wales.
"It's very much the watery equivalent of the 'Black Summer' bushfires," emergency services spokesperson Phil Campbell told AFP.
In the past week the scale of the damage to property and wildlife was similar to those devastating bushfires, he said, which ravaged Australia's east for months in late 2019 and early 2020.
"We have also had a similar effect on communities in terms of dislocation with roads closed, infrastructure damaged, power outages," Campbell said.
Australian soldiers work to rebuild a culvert and open up roads. AFP
In the past 24 hours, emergency services were called to 100 flood rescues across the state, a number that is expected to rise as the full force of the storms bears down on Sydney Tuesday.
In the northern reaches of New South Wales — where floodwaters this week destroyed homes, washed away cars and stranded hundreds of locals on their roofs -- a long, slow cleanup is under way.
There are 800 people in emergency accommodation in the state's Northern Rivers region alone, state emergency services commissioner Charlene York.
According to emergency services, almost half of the 5,000 flood-ravaged homes inspected in the region in the wake of the disaster are uninhabitable.
In Mullumbimby, a town cut off from phone service, internet and outside help for days by the floods, local Casey Whelan told AFP that "lots of people in my street can't get flood insurance".
"They will have no way to rebuild," he said.
Australia has been at the sharp end of climate change, with droughts, deadly bushfires, bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef and floods becoming more common and intense as global weather patterns change.
A man swept away by floodwaters in the city's northwest was rescued by emergency crews, media reported, while television footage showed vehicles struggling to cross waterlogged streets, fallen power lines and trees, and debris floating in rivers.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Parliament that 35 communities in northern New South Wales had been isolated and emergency services had conducted more than 700 flood rescues.
At least nine people have died and more than a thousand people have been rescued. Authorities have warned that more fatalities are likely. The latest victim was a woman in her 80s, whose body was found by police inside a home in the country town of Lismore.
Several towns across northern New South Wales and southeast Queensland were still battling to clear tonnes of debris after devastating floods earlier in March killed at least 21 people and swept away hundreds of farms, houses and livestock.
Last month, the government had raised the price of petrol and diesel by 35 PKR per litre each, a couple of days before the scheduled date of revising oil prices, apparently bowing to hoarders rather than taking action against them, The Express Tribune reported.
Heartrending scenes of a newborn plucked alive from the rubble and a broken father clutching his dead daughter's hand have laid bare the human cost of violent earthquakes in Syria and Turkey that by Wednesday had claimed 7,800 lives.
The last two days have brought dramatic rescues, including small children emerging from mounds of debris more than 30 hours after Monday's pre-dawn quake. But there was also widespread despair and growing anger at the slow pace of rescue efforts in some areas.