A woman has been found dead on a northern NSW property after she was swept away by floodwaters that have left tens of thousands of people in the region stranded from their homes and rescue crews concerned that more lives may have been lost.
The deluge was brought by a weather front created by ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie after it lashed Queensland's eastern coast before travelling south.
More than 2000 schools have been closed, affecting around 300,000 students.
The NSW State Emergency Service made nearly 400 flood rescues in the region and had about 2000 calls for help since Wednesday night.
"We might get a worst-case scenario there, and find people have deceased overnight as a result of being caught in floodwater", State Emergency Service deputy commissioner Mark Morrow said.
People may have perished in floodwaters in the Australian state of New South Wales, emergency services fear as the northern city of Lismore goes under.
A 36-year-old woman perished at a rural property at Upper Burringbar and a 64-year-old woman was killed in a auto that was swept of a causeway at Gungal in the Hunter region.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull expressed condolences to the family of the first woman whose body was found, and paid tribute to the efforts of emergency services.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said 20,000 people had been evacuated from their homes and another 10,00 people are without power.
The animal had belonged to her 101-year-old mother before she died last year, she said.
"Though 7500 claims have been lodged from Queenslanders as of noon (Brisbane time) today, this is only the early stage of a natural disaster and I expect the insurance losses could reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars as householders and businesses return to their properties and lodge claims".
River levels in some threatened communities were continuing to rise, even on a low tide, when they should be starting to drop.
More than 100 homes and businesses have been flooded in low-lying areas of the Logan area in south-east Queensland as the Albert and Logan Rivers swell to unprecedented levels.
The island's evacuation order was issued on Saturday morning, with major flooding expected when the river peaked at an expected 4.2 metres at nearby Woodburn.
Lismore residents have began assessing the damage after the worst flood in 43 years.
"I love that bird", Ms Willows, who uses a walking a frame, told AAP.
"We're just preparing for another incident through the night".
The Tweed River valley recorded 500-740 millimetres of rain in the 24 hours to 2am on Friday, while the Wilsons River valley recorded up to 576 millimetres in the 36 hours to 4am Friday.
"It was certainly too unsafe in that driving rain to get out there and get to people".
"It happened very quickly". Sarina has recorded 802 mm of rain during the same period.
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