National

Rain eases but winds, surf batter NSW

By AAP Newswire

The heavy rains which caused flooding and three evacuation orders on the NSW South Coast are easing but howling winds and damaging surf are battering much of the state's coastline.

Damaging winds with gusts of more than 90km/h have been recorded along the Sydney and Illawarra coast, reaching 93km/h at Norah Head on the Central Coast on Monday.

Waves also peaked at just over five metres in Sydney with much of the coastline from Ulladulla to Port Macquarie warned of hazardous surf with a severe weather warning in place.

A surfer was pulled unconscious from the big seas at Collaroy Beach in Sydney's north, however the 44-year-old man later died in Royal North Shore Hospital.

Residents in Wamberal on the Central Coast have been on high alert after weeks of wild weather caused massive coastal erosion, putting houses at risk.

But resident Gordon Cahill says rocks put in below the homes at the edge of the beach have added an extra layer of protection.

"They seem to be holding up and doing their job," he told AAP on Monday.

"We will get through this relatively unscathed."

The State Emergency Service received 1600 calls for help across NSW over the weekend as torrential rain and winds downed trees, damaged roofs and flooded roads.

The Bureau of Meteorology said Nowra received 373mm of rain since Thursday, with Broughton Vale near Berry copping 369mm of rain and 279mm falling in Moruya.

Meteorologist Alex Majchrowski said the heavy rains are clearing with some lingering showers remaining.

"This is the time of year where we do see low-pressure troughs," he told AAP on Wednesday.

"But it is unusual to receive 350mm after a fortnight prior receiving a similar amount."

The heavy rains caused flooding and prompted the SES to issue three evacuation orders late on Sunday for hundreds of residents in Moruya, Sussex Inlet and Nowra suburbs including Terara, East Nowra, Worrigee and North Nowra.

By Monday afternoon the evacuation order for Moruya had been lifted after the Moruya River peaked lower than expected at 2.1m.

The Shoalhaven River at Nowra peaked at 4.13m on Monday which the Bureau of Meteorology says is similar to the 1991 flooding event at Nowra.

Minor flooding occurred along the St Georges Basin at Sussex Inlet and Island Point while 23 homes remain cut off at Broughton Vale.

Some 40 flood rescues have been required in NSW since Friday.

SES Commissioner Carlene York again warned people on Monday not to walk, drive or swim through floodwaters, which were often fast-moving and polluted with debris.

"It's fast-flowing, there's a lot of refuse and tree material coming down in that (Shoalhaven) river so it's quite dangerous," Ms York told reporters.

Meanwhile, in Sydney, the Manly fast ferries were cancelled on Monday morning due to large swells in the harbour, while train services on the South Coast line were briefly out.

About 2000 Endeavour Energy customers in NSW remained without power on Monday afternoon, with storms creating 270 electrical hazards from fallen trees and branches.

"Localised flooding on parts of the south coast are hampering crews from accessing damaged parts of the network in some areas," the company said in a statement.