A severe weather warning has been issued for Sydney and much of New South Wales as another evacuation is ordered in a flooded Riverina town.
State emergency services have asked residents of Deniliquin to leave their homes by Wednesday.
Adding to the city’s woes, destructive westerly winds are expected on Monday and could reach up to 90 km/h.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for much of the south of the state, including Sydney and the Illawarra, Riverina, Snowy Mountains and ACT regions.
Damaging westerly winds averaging 50-70 km/h with maximum gusts exceeding 90 km/h are likely over high parts and also east to the coast and in the Goulburn area.
For the rest of the warning area, including the Sydney metropolitan area and Canberra, damaging gusts of more than 90 km/h are possible.
Showers or thunderstorms are also expected on the Riverina and Southwest slopes.
In the 24 hours to Monday morning, the SES received 617 calls for help and carried out three flood rescues.
There are 102 warnings in place in the state, 16 of which are at the emergency level.
The SES said it was focusing on Forbes, Condobolin, Euabalong, Eugowra, Walgett, Bourke, Hay, Albury, Echuca, Mildura, Wentworth, Deniliquin, Wee Waa and Moulamein.
Many of the calls for help over the weekend were in response to damage caused by high winds, including roofs flying off and downed trees and power lines.
Meteorologist Jonathan How said cold and windy conditions were unusual in late spring and urged people to heed warnings and stay clear of trees.
“With the winds, because everything is so wet, we expect to see trees and even power lines going down more easily today,” he told ABC TV on Monday.
“The winds will continue through tonight and possibly even into tomorrow morning as well. By tomorrow we should see some of the stronger winds starting to subside.
The risk of flooding remains in midwestern cities, but no significant rain was expected in saturated watersheds this week.
In Forbes, moderate flooding continues, but the real concern this week is downstream in Condobolin, where the Lachlan River is expected to peak on Wednesday.
Authorities are closely monitoring the three-kilometer seawall around the Condobolin CBD which SES Chief Superintendent Dallas Burns said is expected to hold until the current peak.
The SES worked closely with local councils to ensure the dykes were maintained.
“Obviously with these floods that have happened so often over the past few months, there’s been quite a bit of damage to these levees just from erosion, so that’s something we’re very concerned about.” , he told ABC TV.
As floodwaters recede in Forbes, the town moves into the recovery phase, with Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke saying damage assessments are underway, in a bid to allow some people to return to their homes they.
ADF troops are helping to sandbag and clean houses, although parts of the city remain flooded.
Of 400 damage assessments carried out so far by the SES, half of the properties had been marked as “damaged”.
As the peak moves downstream, Cooke said already isolated communities brace for sharp rises in water levels.
“Our hearts go out to these communities,” she said.
“We know you are going through a difficult time and we will continue to support you throughout the response and recovery phase.”
To support communities, nine recovery assistance points were opened this week, including Eugowra, Orange, Parkes, Gunnedah, Cudal, Wagga Wagga, Narrabri and Moree.
Multi-Agency Centers are designed to help flood-affected individuals, families, farmers and business owners begin the process of clean-up, rebuilding and recovery.