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Flood and storm losses surge to $100 million

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Losses from severe storms and flooding that hit NSW and Queensland at the weekend have doubled to $100 million, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) says.

More than 21,000 claims have been received, with 90% for building damage and the remainder for motor vehicles.

ICA declared a catastrophe for the event yesterday morning after several days of torrential rainfall caused widespread flooding. Heavy rain has continued in parts of NSW today and a number of flood warnings remain in place.

The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) received more than 10,000 requests for assistance after the wild weather passed through the Central Coast region and Sydney at the weekend, with the greatest concentration of calls from Gosford, Hornsby, Wyong and Ku-ring-gai.

Ausgrid is still working to restore power to 50,000 customers and has described the weekend storm as one of the worst on its network in the last 20 years.

The rainfall has put out more than 30 fires since Friday, some of which had been burning for weeks and even months, and more are likely to be extinguished over coming days, the NSW Rural Fire Service says.

In Queensland, the SES was mainly called out to emergencies from Brisbane to the Gold Coast and in Toowoomba.

The Bureau of Meteorology is keeping an eye on Tropical Cyclone Uesi, which has strengthened into a category three system north of New Caledonia.

There is a “moderate” chance it may enter the offshore Australian eastern region on Thursday, but the cyclone is expected to remain well off the Queensland coast, the bureau says.