A brief respite ... but the rain will continue this week
DON'T pack the brollies away just yet - the state-wide soaking is forecast to continue until next weekend.
While a glimpse of sunshine yesterday allowed people out to survey the flood damage, emergency services warn more rain is on the way.
Mid-north coast residents are being told to prepare, with a number of river systems close to flooding. And some Sydney suburbs are setting records for consecutive rainy days.
Last night the SES estimated 1300 people were stranded on isolated properties due to road closures in the Clarence and Nambucca areas, with numerous evacuations across the state's north and more than 20 people rescued from cars.
SES spokeswoman Terri Langendam said volunteer crews had attended more than 3200 jobs and 82 rescues since the downpour set in on March 12.
"In the past 24 hours we have had another 190 jobs, including dealing with flash flooding and sandbagging, and helping get supplies to residents," she said.
"From the Illawarra up to the Tweed Heads, there are still many flood warnings. (The rain) is coming back, with an expected 15mm to 40mm of widespread rain along the east coast of NSW."
Lavenders Bridge in Bellingen was reopened yesterday after water levels of the Bellinger River dropped.
But the Bureau of Meteorology forecasts showers and thunderstorms to continue for at least the next six days.
"What we have is a persistent trough sitting just off the coast sending humid easterly winds," duty forecaster Simon Louis said.
"That has triggered a lot of showers and thunderstorm activity. While the rain may not be as frequent in Sydney, it will continue with ... showers and thunderstorms."
Sydney Observatory has recorded 223mm of rain this month, surpassing the usual March average of 130mm - but not breaking the 521mm record set back in 1942.
March normally has 13.6 rainy days but Canterbury has had a record 15 days, while other suburbs have also broken local records.