Floodwaters are receding across the New South Wales mid-north coast as rains ease.
Large vehicles and trucks are starting to make their way through to Bellingen where more than 3,000 residents have been isolated.
However, hundreds of people remain cut-off in upstream towns and large parts of the region are flood damaged.
Bellingen Shire Mayor Mark Troy says the cost of the damage is likely to be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“We would certainly be appealing for some assistance,” he said.
“I would hope that there would be a natural disaster declaration for the area.”
NSW Emergency Services Minister Steve Whan is expected to make such a declaration.
He says he wants to make sure people are getting the assistance they need and to thank the State Emergency Service volunteers in person.
Mr Troy says farmers in low lying areas have been particularly hard hit.
“There have been some real issues for those people moving stock to high ground and, of course, I understand a lot of those big hay bales that you see have gone out to sea, or at least somewhere in the estuary,” he said.
And the Deputy Mayor of Bellingen, Kerry Child, says residents are struggling to cope with the isolation and damage.
“We had power cut off yesterday all day, and luckily we had it put back on in the night, but I believe there are others who still, this morning, have no power,” she said.
While the rain has eased in some parts of the mid-north coast for the time being, the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting more heavy falls today.
Flood warnings and watches remain current for rivers and streams along the New South Wales coast from the Queensland border to the Hunter.