Heavy rainfall in Australia's New South Wales has forced the evacuation of several towns and the closure of more than 50 schools, but also extinguished some of the persistent bush fires that have devastated the state.
Drought, wildfires and now flooding have given Australia's weather an almost Biblical feel this year. The good news is that a recent deluge in eastern parts of the country has drenched deadly fires and helped ease a crippling drought.
Heavy rains lashed parts of the wildfire and drought-stricken Australian east coast on Friday, bringing some flooding in Sydney and relief to firefighters still dealing with dozens of blazes in New South Wales.
Fabric curtains stretch across the huge Warragamba Dam to trap ash and sediment expected to wash off wildfire-scorched slopes and into the reservoir that holds 80 per cent of untreated drinking water for the Greater Sydney area.