NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says even though the sun was shining on Wednesday, the state is still in the grip of a devastating crisis with rivers still rising and floodwaters taking some time to recede.
"We're certainly not out of the woods," she said.
"The fact that we haven't had any fatalities is simply a miracle."
Around 60,000 people have been told by the State Emergency Service to be ready to evacuate as several severe weather warnings remain in place and swollen catchments continue to experience flows of water not seen in 50 years in some places.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison flew over flooded Windsor in Sydney's northwest on Wednesday to survey the damage.
In the past few days there have been 11,000 calls for help to the SES and 950 flood rescues.
The Bureau of Meteorology predicts there will be no major rain for at least a week, paving the way for the army and emergency service workers to get essential supplies to isolated communities, particularly in North Richmond where floodwaters continue to rise.
The cleanup effort will be coordinated by Deputy Premier John Barilaro, with the SES, Rural Fire Service, the Australian Defence Force as well as Resilience NSW.
Ms Berejiklian is grateful for the reprieve from the record-breaking rainfall that plunged the state into its fourth crisis in as many years, after drought, bushfires and COVID-19.
But this was not the time to be complacent.
"The currents are strong, the rivers are rising," the premier said.
The damage inflicted on thousands of homes, businesses and infrastructure means "life won't be normal for a lot of people for a long time".
"I'm not going to pretend that the clean up and recovery will be easy," she said.
A number of moderate and minor flood warnings are still in place as are several major flood warnings.
The areas of greatest concern include Moree in the NSW north west, the Upper Hunter around Singleton, Grafton, parts of the Central Coast and the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment north-west of Sydney.
Some residents in Moree and others near Grafton have already been ordered to evacuate. There are also concerns about the South Coast where severe wind conditions could bring down trees.
SES Commissioner Carlene York said the reprieve in the weather will allow essential supplies to be delivered to isolated communities, with helicopters as well as boats available.
"Tamworth-Buladelah, Grafton, Tambulan and the north shore of Port Macquarie are still seeing very high river levels," she said.
"The waters will slowly start to recede but in that Hawkesbury-Nepean area people need to be patient because ... it doesn't go away very quickly."
People who have been evacuated must be prepared to confront devastating scenes when they return to their homes, which will be sodden with murky water and mud.
"We're here to help them try and get their life back to as normal as it can be in the short term," Ms York said.
Police Minister David Elliot said there were now 1600 SES volunteers involved in the crisis as well as the ADF which was offering helicopter support and troops on the ground working "hand in glove" with the SES.
"Many of these who are reservists will be giving up their Easter," he said.
There have been 12,000 insurance claims so far, and that number is expected to increase dramatically, with the government promising it will be vigilant in holding insurers to account when it came to processing claims.
Elsewhere, 162 schools remain closed but flights to and from Newcastle Airport will resume at midday after the runway was closed on the weekend.