Three people were killed in flood waters as massive storms pounded Australias east coast. Torrential rains and huge ocean swells forced residents to flee their homes. In Sydney, rivers overflowed, numerous trees came down and roofs tore apart. Up to 200mm (seven inches) of rain fell in some parts in 24 hours, local media reported.
The storm whipped up waves as high as 12 metres (40 feet), which caused severe beach erosion and forced hundreds of coastal residents to flee. The storm knocked out power to more than 85,000 homes and businesses over the weekend. Nearly 300 people needed to be rescued from flooded areas across New South Wales, the state emergency services agency said. Many had attempted to drive or walk across flooded roads.
The body of a 65-year-old man was found in a car in a creek near the town of Bowral, about 120 kilometres (74 miles) south of Sydney, New South Wales state police said. The body of another man was found in a truck washed away by floodwaters in the southwest Sydney suburb of Leppington. In the nations capital, Canberra, a 37-year-old man died after powerful floodwaters flipped his truck over and swept it away.
Dozens of homes on Sydneys northern beaches were damaged from high tides, some falling apart and onto the beach below. A swimming pool at one seaside home in north Sydney collapsed onto the eroded sands below. Clubs and hotels along popular coastal tourist spots were forced to shut as ocean swells thrashed their buildings.