Dozens of towns isolated by flooding in Australian state

Homes evacuated and schools closed in NSW as “one-in-100-year” flooding event rages

Most of the coastal areas in New South Wales, which is home to about a third of Australia's 25 million people, had already seen record rainfall for March by the time the downpours hit.

Australia's east coast was smashed by heavy rains on Saturday, sparking risky flash flooding that forced the evacuation of multiple regions as the fast-moving waters unmoored houses, engulfed roads, stranded towns and cut power lines.

Education authorities said more than 200 schools were closed, including some that had been damaged in the floods.

Australia's coal exports were disrupted, as the deluge shut rail lines into the port of Newcastle, the world's largest coal export port, and forced some mines to cut output.

Just one year ago, the same region saw unprecedented wildfires following years of drought that gripped most of Australia's most populous state.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said no deaths had been reported by late Monday - describing it as "a miracle given what we have been through".

The Hawkesbury and Nepean rivers flooded most of northwestern Sydney, leaving residents stranded. "It was going fast as the ski boats go.As soon as it broke the banks, it was like a torrent", said Larry Powers, after he was rescued by emergency services following a day's wait at his property in Pitt Town. "So, they are challenging times for New South Wales".

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"I made it to the church and married the love of my life!" she said on Twitter on Monday.

Ms Berejiklian said another 4,000 people may still be asked to evacuate. New South Wales was severely affected by last year's ferocious bush fires, which affected numerous communities now struggling with the floods.

Police said hundreds of people had flocked to evacuation centres in areas north of Sydney in New South Wales state, and they expected many more to seek shelter as the rains move south down the coast.

A total of 13 areas in the NSW province have flood risk and evacuation warnings.

The wild weather is expected to continue for several days as two intense weather systems clash tonight.

A severe flood warning has been issued for large parts of New South Wales, as well as neighbouring Queensland.

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