Further severe weather is forecast to hit around NSW amid the ongoing recovery from repeated floods in the north of the state.
Widespread rainfall is expected to hit with up to 50 millimetres predicted in the Hunter, central and southern coastal regions on Wednesday, Bureau of Meteorology hydrologist Ailsa Schofield says.
Rain is forecast to increase on Thursday, with isolated falls up to 250mm possible in some areas.
A flood watch has been issued for minor to moderate flooding on the Nepean, Hawkesbury, Colo, Georges and Woronora River.
Localised flooding is also expected along the Macdonald and Parramatta Rivers and areas in north and south Sydney.
“Any additional rainfall could quickly escalate to flash flooding and we may see riverine flooding across large portions of the state as well,” SES Assistant Commissioner Dean Storey said.
Authorities are preparing and pre-deploying to places at risk, Mr Storey said, adding people should ensure they know what they’re going to do if they’re told to evacuate.
The SES has responded to more than 31,400 calls for help and performed more than 2200 flood rescues across the state in the past six weeks.
The severe weather predicted for the rest of the week comes as residents in the state’s north continue recovery efforts from two major floods in the space of a month.
Premier Dominic Perrottet visited the flood-hit town of Wardell on Tuesday to announce the $67 million support package for schools, TAFE and child care.
The package includes additional counselling for staff who have also been affected by the floods.
School principals in northern NSW will be responsible for distributing new support measures to help teachers and students return to school.
Principals were the best placed to understand who needs support and ensure they get it, Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said.
Some of the support could include reimbursing receipts for purchases by teachers and parents or providing vouchers for local businesses.
Families can access $500 grants for each student to replace things such as school uniforms, bags and sporting equipment, as well as paying for other school expenses such as excursions.
Teachers who have lost resources including laptops can apply for $1000 to replace them.
About 20 schools were affected by the floods, five of which had been significantly damaged, which may require buildings to be demolished and rebuilt, Ms Mitchell said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday that he had written to Premier Dominic Perrottet to stress his government was happy to share the costs of the flood support programs.
Mr Perrottet said when announcing new grants on Monday that NSW would welcome support from the federal government.
“But ultimately we’re not going to wait, we’re going to get on with the job,” Mr Perrottet said.
Mr Morrison also disputed criticism from NSW upper house MP Catherine Cusack, who announced two weeks ago she would quit parliament over discrepancies in flood support between electorates.
Ms Cusack has been speaking out against Mr Morrison in the media this week, joining other critics within the Liberal Party.
The prime minister said Ms Cusack’s anger was misplaced, and defended the previous funding announcement.
“We listed those first three LGAs because they were the most obvious ones and it was the advice of our agencies … and we extended to the others,” Mr Morrison said.
Submissions opened on Monday for the inquiry into the NSW floods, which is being led by NSW Independent Planning Commission chair Mary O’Kane and former NSW Police commissioner Mick Fuller.
The public can make submissions via post, online or in person at ServiceNSW centres and recovery centres as well as at local hearing sessions.