A family with two young children had to be rescued twice after a boat evacuating them from floodwaters capsized northwest of Sydney.
The family of four were fleeing their home that had been ravaged by major flooding in Colo, when they were thrown into the waters during the rescue mission.
Dramatic footage shows the boat upside down and struggling to keep afloat on the fast-moving waters.
Emergency workers rushed to the overturned boat in the Hawkesbury River and pulled the soaked couple and their two young daughters out of the water.
NSW State Emergency Services (SES) and Marine Rescue then safely ferried the family to the shore.
The two little girls were seen being carried by rescue workers to dry land, before they and SES personnel were checked over by paramedics.
The drenched and exhausted family were seen cuddling together wrapped in blankets and jumpers following their ordeal, before being taken onto a waiting bus.
They were just some of 18,000 residents who were forced to flee their home since last week amid the worst flooding New South Wales has seen in decades.
Some parts of the state recorded two thirds of their annual rainfall in less than a week, with emergency services suggesting up to 54,000 people could be displaced, though no deaths have yet been reported.
Another 15,000 were today anxiously waiting to hear if they too needed to evacuate as floodwaters are expected to linger for days.
The public have been warned that the clean-up efforts could stretch into April, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison drafting in 1,000 defence personnel to help.
He said the rain emergency was expected to ease by late Wednesday, but the ‘floodwaters remain persistent for some time’.
‘I’m advised that the rain and flood situation does remain dynamic and extremely complex,’ he added.
The flooding rain had extended along the New South Wales coast across the Queensland state border in the north and almost as far as the Victoria border to the south.
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