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  • torrential downpours lashed Australia's east coast on Monday, forcing thousands to flee the worst flooding in decades.

  • Around 18,000 residents were told to evacuate their homes as days of relentless rainfall caused rivers in Australia's most popular state, New South Wales, to rise to their highest levels in 30 years.

  • Emergency warnings are in place across the state, including Port Macquarie, Kemp, C and Sydney's West.

  • Heavy rains are expected to continue until Wednesday.

  • The BBC Shaimaa Khalil has been to the flood stricken areas and sent us this report.

  • Mhm.

  • This is what days of relentless downpour looks like a deluge not seen in five decades.

  • Here in New South Wales, emergency services have been inundated with nearly 10,000 calls and have conducted more than 500 rescues so far.

  • And this is what they're up against.

  • Water so high and forceful a three bedroom cottage was seen floating through.

  • Crews have also been called in to get stranded cattle to safety.

  • In the town of Windsor, northwest of Sydney.

  • Residents are used to floods this time of year, but nothing like this.

  • It's very shocking because I haven't seen it like this before.

  • In 1990 was the last time that I remember having a really big flood.

  • It's hard to tell.

  • This is the newly built Windsor Bridge.

  • It's barely a year old and was meant to withstand heavy flooding.

  • This is how swollen the Hoxby River got.

  • You can hardly make out the Windsor Bridge, and with more rain forecast over the next few days, things are set to get much worse before they get better.

  • Thousands of families have already evacuated, with many more ready to go.

  • Yeah, for days now, the Watsons have been on high alert.

  • They tell me they hardly slept in the past 24 hours as they watched the waters inch ever closer to their property and submerged the whole of their back garden.

  • It's normally completely green and, uh, floats down to a dam, but now it's completely inundated.

  • In the in the distance, we can just see farmland, Um, but now we just see water.

  • So it's not the first natural disaster to hit these areas in the past year.

  • Some communities who were battered by the bush fires are now being battered by the floods.

  • Deep drought prior to that and I don't know any time in our state's history, when we've had these extreme weather conditions, many families will spend the night in evacuation centers and with the rainfall showing no sign of letting up, there is no telling when they'll be able to get back to their homes.

  • She material.

  • BBC News, Windsor, New South Wales Well, here's the BBC weather reporter Chris Fox, where they look at the forecast in New South Wales for the next few days.

  • The rain really started coming down heavily on Thursday last week and since then some areas have seen over 900 millimeters rain.

  • So that's not far off a meters worth of rain, very wet as well in Sydney City Center, with 264 millimeters over the last seven days.

  • Now this weather system, as I say, was stalled.

  • It was a trough that developed a line of thunderstorms and because the winds in the atmosphere didn't change direction.

  • So those severe thunderstorms just kept feeding in day after day, hitting the same kind of area.

  • But now we're looking at the next area of low pressure crossing Australia, combining with that trough in the east to bring a final about a very heavy rain across those same flooded areas.

  • So more very heavy rain across New South Wales as the low pressure swings eastwards will start to get some pretty gusty north easterly winds.

  • These combining with high tides.

  • They will effectively stop the rivers from removing that floodwater.

  • So the flooding is likely to get worse before it gets better in a number of communities, So more extreme rainfall around as the risk of some landslides as well.

  • But the rain should start to ease away by Wednesday, but the floodwaters will take days to gradually drain away BBC weather there.

torrential downpours lashed Australia's east coast on Monday, forcing thousands to flee the worst flooding in decades.

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