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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Road closures, flooding: SES advises ‘stay home’

Hunter residents are being advised to stay at home unless it’s vital, with heavy rain set to continue.

The warning comes as NSW SES branches deal with several callouts for assistance following downpours overnight.

By 9am, parts of Newcastle’s coastline had recorded 57mm of rain, with SES City of Newcastle acting unit commander Graeme Silver fearing more wet weather hazards to come.

“The jobs are starting to dribble in now,” he said.

“I know the Lake Macquarie unit has already had a flood rescue and we’re preparing the vehicles now for anything that might crop up.”

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has issued a severe weather warning with heavy rainfalls for areas stretching from Newcastle to Yamba.

Mr Silver said as conditions changed throughout the day, so too would the advice.

“Always avoid floodwaters,” he said. “Don’t drive through them, don’t walk through them, if you can’t see the bottom don’t take the risk.

Flooding across Pacific Highway near Karuah Thursday 18 March Photo: NSW Incident Alerts

“Trees are the next thing to watch. If we get wind now the trees could blow over because the ground has softened.

“Don’t park under any trees would be my advice.”

NSW SES Lake Macquarie Unit was forced to close Oakdale Road in Gateshead shortly after 7am after parts of the road flooded.

“Please take care when travelling in the area with water currently over the road,” a spokesperson said.

“[We] are reminding the community not to drive through flood waters and to travel safely with today’s weather conditions.”

Severe weather and flood warnings are expected to continue throughout the weekend BOM has warned.

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