Heavy rain and floods batter Australia's east coast

Australia's east coast was smashed by heavy rains on Saturday (March 20).

They caused dangerous flash flooding that forced the evacuation of multiple regions.

The fast-moving waters unmoored houses, engulfed roads, stranded towns and cut power lines.

Port Macquarie resident Beverley Quill's belongings have been damaged by the floodwater.

"I've just canceled my flood insurance to save 90 dollars a month right at the wrong time. Never thought this would happen. It's never ever happened here."

Most of the coast of New South Wales state, which is home to about a third of Australia's 25 million people, has already seen March rainfall records broken.

Authorities have warned the downpour was likely to continue for several days.

Officials had issued nine evacuation orders for about 15 areas by Saturday afternoon.

People were urged to stay at home and avoid any non-essential trips -- with officials lambasting those who'd needed help after venturing out into the stormy weather.

Emergency crews responded to about 4,000 calls for help over the past two days.