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Waves impact the coast at Collaroy on Sydney's Northern Beaches on Monday. Photo: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

Australia's fire-ravaged east coast is being lashed by heavy storms that have caused flash flooding and travel disruptions. And Sydney has endured its wettest four days in 30 years, with 16.3 inches falling in that period, per the Bureau of Meteorology.

The big picture: Much of the state of New South Wales has been crippled by drought. Now, flooding has seen authorities order residents in low-lying areas of Sydney to evacuate. Tens of thousands of people were without power across the state. NSW Maritime said several boats sank amid "turbulent conditions at sea," The Guardian reports. Flooding has also been reported in the nearby state of Queensland.

Swimmers at Narrabeen in Sydney. Photo: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images
Watsons Bay in Sydney. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images
The beach is eroding at Collaroy on Sydney's Northern Beaches. Photo: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images
Streets are flooded in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney. Photo: Jenny Evans/Getty Images
Sydney's CBD. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images
A Collaroy resident watches as high tide and large waves impact the coast. Photo: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

Flashback: In photos: Australia endures floods, dust storms and brown rain as fires rage

Go deeper

31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest executive order: Buy American

President Joe R. Biden speaks about the economy before signing executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Friday, Jan 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services.

Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.

The pandemic could be worsening childhood obesity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The 10-month long school closures and the coronavirus pandemic are expected to have a big impact on childhood obesity rates.

Why it matters: About one in five children are obese in the U.S. — an all-time high — with worsening obesity rates across income and racial and ethnic groups, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show.