Cities along Australia’s east coast will be pummelled with 200mm of rain in just one day, according to a horror weather map.
A Bureau of Meteorology map shows that Sydney, Brisbane, Wollongong, Byron Bay, Grafton and Port Macquarie will all receive increasingly heavy rain over the weekend, culminating in a 200mm deluge on Monday.
The torrential rainfall is expected to last until at least Tuesday and forecasters warned that there was an increased risk of flooding in Sydney and the rest of the NSW coastline.
Much-needed rainfall has meant reprieve for exhausted firefighters and the downpours have put out 22 bushfires in the space of just three days.
By the end of Wednesday, there were 62 active fires in NSW and the ACT, which dropped to 42 by the end of Thursday and to 40 on Friday.
Storms continue to batter the state after Byron Bay was hit with 280mm of rain on Thursday night, which flooded streets and submerged cars.
On Friday night, the BOM issued a severe weather warning for heavy rainfall, damaging winds, abnormally high tides and damaging surf.
Widespread beach closures are expected on Saturday and Sunday and Surf Life Saving NSW director Joel Wiseman urged people ‘not to engage in risky coastal activities’ during the wild weather.
‘Surf Life Saving NSW is anticipating that many NSW beaches will be closed due to dangerous surf conditions,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘If lifesavers and lifeguards haven’t put the red and yellow flags up, the beach is not safe for swimming.’
While many firefighters are having a much needed break, Emergency Service volunteers are stepping up their operations to respond to the growing flood threat.
On Friday, NSW RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons announced that his service had begun accommodating the NSW SES.
‘With significant focus shifting from fires to floods, the NSW RFS State Operations Centre has now been reconfigured to operate as the NSW SES Sydney Zone Operations Centre in support of state-wide flood operations,’ he wrote on Twitter.
Flash flooding has already had a significant impact in both NSW and Queensland since the heavy rainfall began.
Since Wednesday, emergency services in both states have received almost 1,000 calls for help.
Five flood rescues have been carried out in NSW so far while there have been two reported rescues in Queensland.
On Wednesday night, three people were rescued after their car was washed away by floodwater in regional Queensland’s Western Downs, four hours west of Brisbane.
Meanwhile, a Sunshine Coast woman was rescued from her car by emergency services after she became trapped in flood waters on Thursday.
Several roads were flooded across Greater Sydney on Friday and trains between Waterfall and Thirroul on the South Coast were been replaced by buses.
There were delays on the North Shore line after a tree fell on the line.
The Parramatta Weir has overflowed and buses have replaced ferries between Parramatta and Rydalmere.
On Friday, the rain was so heavy on the NSW Central Coast that it caused a shopping centre roof to cave in.
Over 100mm of severe rain at the Village Central Wyong shopping centre caused part of the roof to fall onto the mall floor as shoppers walked by.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, centre manager Richard Jack said: ‘It’s been raining outside. Nobody was hurt but the area has been cordoned off and we’re trading as usual.’
Trains in Sydney were delayed by up to two hours due to the heavy rain on Friday.
Roads were flooded in Sydney, Brisbane and in Byron Bay as a direct result of the wet weather, causing traffic chaos.
The weather system hit south-east Queensland on Wednesday before moving south to affect NSW. The current rain is expected to continue well into next week.
While coastal areas will be copping more than 200mm of rain, Canberra will receive up to 35mm on Sunday and 30mm on Monday.
South of the city, the Orroral Valley fire is still burning out of control, although it has dropped to a lower ‘advice’ level warning.
A NSW Rural Fire Service spokesman told the Canberra Times: ‘We’re not out of the woods yet. There are still active fires, and there are likely to be active fires after the weekend
‘[Also,] we’re certainly not at the end of the fire season – we’ve still got a number of weeks to go.’