Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced financial relief for flood-affected businesses, as tens of thousands of people across NSW return to their homes.
Mr Morrison visited the SES headquarters in western Sydney on Saturday morning, applauding the response of volunteers and staff to the extreme water levels.
He said the federal government would be underwriting bank loans for small and medium businesses in the flood-affected areas.
It's an extension of a support program already available for COVID-affected businesses.
"This is about backing the businesses and producers that are backing themselves to get back on their feet," Mr Morrison declared.
He promised "more support...more assistance" as the recovery continues.
NSW has seen a run of sunny, warm days after the massive deluge, but more than 8000 residents were still cast from their homes on Friday evening as evacuation orders remained in place in certain areas.
"It might be blue skies here today in western Sydney but the job is still going on on the ground as we move into the clean-up phase," the prime minister said.
Flooding has eased in many parts of the state but orders remain around Moree and the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley in northwest Sydney.
Dozens more homes were evacuated on the Mid North Coast towns of Grassy Head and Stuarts Point on Friday evening after septic tanks overflowed, spilling sewage through the townships.
As residents return to their homes, the Australian Red Cross is warning of a lack of access to mental health services.
"Our volunteers have heard stories about the distress about leaving homes, livestock and even a change of clothes behind," Red Cross NSW Director Poppy Brown said in a statement.
"Many of these communities have already endured years of concurrent disasters, from drought, bushfires, COVID-19 and now floods. The impact of this latest disaster is expected to be significant."
More residents can seek a disaster recovery payment and allowance, after the federal government added 25 local government areas to a list of eligible places. Some 34 local government areas were made eligible during the week.
"By making these payments available, the Australian Government will ensure that those who have lost or sustained damage to their homes or lost their livelihoods as a result of the floods, will have the additional assistance they need to help them get back on their feet," said Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud.
Those returning to their flood-damaged homes should first check for damage to the roof and walls and ensure the power and gas are off, the SES said.
Residents should wear protective gear while cleaning up, have a supply of fresh water and be wary of contaminated floodwaters.
The SES has started assessing the damage in affected areas, with at least 75 properties so far declared potentially uninhabitable.
The Bureau of Meteorology's Justin Robinson said the situation across the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley should ease by Monday and river levels in Moree were quickly dropping.
But Mr Robinson warned that although the sun was out, people should still avoid flooded rivers and be careful this weekend.
"Having high rivers, a sunny weekend, children playing ... is a pretty dangerous combination," he said.
The SES said there had been 12,500 requests for help since last week and 1000 flood rescues.
About 500 SES volunteers remain in the field, supported by hundreds of soldiers who have made their way down from Queensland to help with the clean up.
The federal and NSW government will each pay 50 per cent of flood recovery costs.
Grants of up to $75,000 will be available to affected primary producers while small businesses can access up to $50,000.
Meanwhile the search for an elderly woman continues after police pulled her car from the swollen Barrington River on Thursday.
Australian Associated Press