Three people were killed in flood waters as massive storms pounded Australia's east coast. Torrential rains and huge ocean swells forced residents to flee their homes. In Sydney, rivers overflowed, numerous trees came down and roofs tore apart. Up to 200mm (seven inches) of rain fell in some parts in 24 hours, local media reported.

The storm whipped up waves as high as 12 metres (40 feet), which caused severe beach erosion and forced hundreds of coastal residents to flee. The storm knocked out power to more than 85,000 homes and businesses over the weekend. Nearly 300 people needed to be rescued from flooded areas across New South Wales, the state emergency services agency said. Many had attempted to drive or walk across flooded roads.

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A man watches a wave hit a rock pool at Curl Curl beach in Sydney as a large swell hits the east coast of AustraliaCameron Spencer/Getty Images
Australia weather Sydney storms
A man stands inside the Beach Club at Collaroy beach in Sydney after it was damaged by severe weatherDavid Moir/Reuters

The body of a 65-year-old man was found in a car in a creek near the town of Bowral, about 120 kilometres (74 miles) south of Sydney, New South Wales state police said. The body of another man was found in a truck washed away by floodwaters in the southwest Sydney suburb of Leppington. In the nation's capital, Canberra, a 37-year-old man died after powerful floodwaters flipped his truck over and swept it away.

Dozens of homes on Sydney's northern beaches were damaged from high tides, some falling apart and onto the beach below. A swimming pool at one seaside home in north Sydney collapsed onto the eroded sands below. Clubs and hotels along popular coastal tourist spots were forced to shut as ocean swells thrashed their buildings.

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Local residents look at the damage caused to a building by a severe storm at CollaroyWilliam West/AFP
Australia weather Sydney storms
A destroyed pool is hit by big waves after torrential rains in SydneyDaniel Munoz/Getty Images
Australia weather Sydney storms
Locals survey the damage caused by a severe storm at Collaroy on Sydney's northern beachesWilliam West/AFP
Australia weather Sydney storms
Two men work on covering a damaged roof on a house near Coogee Beach in SydneyDavid Gray/Reuters
Australia weather Sydney storms
Richie Vaculik takes part in the Cape Fear surfing tournament off Sydney's Cape SolanderJason Reed/Reuters
Australia weather Sydney storms
Australian surfer Justin Allport escapes a wave during the Cape Fear surfing tournament in heavy seasJason Reed/Reuters
Australia weather Sydney storms
Rescue swimmers brace the neck of Australian surfer Justin Allport after he was injured at the Cape Fear surfing tournament off Sydney's Cape SolanderJason Reed/Reuters
Australia weather Sydney storms
A surfer's broken board is retrieved from the ocean during the Cape Fear surfing tournamentJason Reed/Reuters
Australia weather Sydney storms
A police helicopter search for a missing person at Bondi beach in SydneyDaniel Munoz/Getty Images
Australia weather Sydney storms
Panes of glass litter a front garden at Collaroy on Sydney's northern beachesWilliam West/AFP
Australia weather Sydney storms
A ferry terminal is submerged by the overflowing Parramatta river in SydneySaeed Khan/AFP
Australia weather Sydney storms
A road is closed after a large tree fell at Queens Park in SydneyRyan Pierse/Getty Images
Australia weather Sydney storms
High tides cover the outdoor pool at Bondi Icebergs in SydneyRyan Pierse/Getty Images
Australia weather Sydney storms
A car window broken by falling branches is seen at Manly BeachCameron Spencer/Getty Images
Australia weather Sydney storms
A fireman walks past damaged windows at the Sugar Lounge restaurant at Manly Beach in SydneyCameron Spencer/Getty Images
Australia weather Sydney storms
People are soaked by huge waves at Bronte Beach in SydneyRyan Pierse/Getty Images