After days of flooding that has destroyed roads, inundated farms and left people clinging to trees or huddling on top of their cars, there is a lingering fear in the back of many victims' minds.
"It's just so difficult. The worry of it happening over and over again has a lot of people off guard," says Aurora Klimowicz, who has lived in Yarramalong on the NSW Central Coast for 20 years.
The village of 400 people was flooded this week, the worst many locals have ever seen.
The Central Coast Rescue Squad has come to the aid of numerous stricken residents over the past four days, including some trapped on the roofs of their cars or holding on to trees to escape fast-moving floodwaters.
"It's been pretty scary for a lot of the residents," Ms Klimowicz tells AAP.
It is the fourth flood in Yarramalong this year. After the previous one, Ms Klimowicz bought a high-powered generator for her sprawling restaurant and bed-and-breakfast.
"We've been able to offer the whole village showers and toilets and hot food and some conversation,'' she says.
"That's the whole reason I decided to buy this place - to be a part of the community and welcome people into our home."
For now, the village remains cut off and emergency services are offering deliveries of food and medication.
The people of Bulga, in the Hunter Valley, are also isolated by what the Bureau of Meteorology describes as the worst flood since 1952.
On Wednesday afternoon, NSW Ambulance received reports of a baby boy struggling to breathe. He was rescued by members of the Rural Fire Service and Surf Life Saving.
John Krey, who lives high up in the village, says many roads have been destroyed.
"It's pretty dire. It's the worst I've seen in the way of damage to infrastructure," he says.
"The roads have just been washed away, there's nothing left of some of them."
Mr Krey says neighbours have kept each other updated about damage and potential dangers, including a brown snake spotted on a bridge.
He says local farmers' paddocks have been submerged, and a horse stud owner has lost fences that had just been repaired after the previous flood.
"It's back again. We've got massive climate change happening - whether this is a result of that I'm not entirely sure," Mr Krey says.
"The events are happening more ferociously and more regularly and it just keeps on coming. What else is there?"
Nearby Singleton has become a major concern for authorities, after the Hunter River peaked at 13.71 metres early on Thursday morning.
Dan Leggett, a Scouts leader, says the amount of water moving through the town is "phenomenal".
"It's become a little bit of the norm, we're used to it,'' he says. "Everybody just prays that the levee bank holds up."
Mr Leggett says the town of 23,000 people is being resourceful and helping each other as much as possible.
"People are offering up trailers, offering to help move pumps, and move livestock if needs be,'' he says.
"We'll just rally together as a community."
Australian Associated Press
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