A pedestrian pushing a baby pram crosses a flooding intersection as heavy rains affect Sydney, Australia. File/Reuters
Emergency authorities received 50 calls for assistance, mostly for sandbagging of properties and help plugging leaking roofs, from residents in Sydney, the capital of New South Wales state, due to Sunday's deluge.
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It comes after Sydney in 2022 notched its wettest year in 164 years, as Australia's east coast endured a rare third straight year of the La Nina weather phenomenon, associated with increased rain.
A NSW State Emergency Service (SES) spokesperson told Reuters two people were pulled safely from cars that become stranded in floodwaters in Sydney's inner suburbs.
"Don't walk drive or ride through floodwater," the SES spokesperson said.
Outside Sydney, there were 27 calls for assistance in the Central Coast region, about 87 km (54 miles) north of Sydney.
The nation's weather forecaster issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of Sydney on Sunday, forecasting heavy rain and possible flash flooding, and warned of more rain for the city this week.
"That situation can change quickly so if people monitor the conditions and take heed of those warnings ... that would be excellent to keep people safe," the NSW SES spokesperson said.
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.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) of NSW said a new weather system could bring another round of heavy rains across NSW, of which Sydney is the capital, raising the risks of flooding.
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.
Thousands were forced to flee their homes after torrential rains since late last month brought widespread destruction in the states of Queensland and New South Wales (NSW), cutting off towns, and sweeping away farms, livestock and roads.
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