The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Hunter this evening.
Experts predict it is likely to produce damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours on Monday 28 December.
Locations which may be affected include Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Cessnock, Gosford, Singleton, Muswellbrook and Scone, as well as Sydney, Penrith, Parramatta, Wollongong, Bowral, Orange, Mudgee, Bathurst, Katoomba and Dubbo.
The NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) advises that people should:
- Move your car under cover or away from trees.
- Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
- Keep at least 8 metres away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energised, such as fences.
- Report fallen power lines to either Ausgrid (131 388), Endeavour Energy (131 003), Essential Energy (132 080) or Evoenergy (131 093) as shown on your power bill.
- Trees that have been damaged by fire are likely to be more unstable and more likely to fall.
- Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
- Don’t walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water.
- If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.
- Be aware that run-off from rainfall in fire affected areas may behave differently and be more rapid. It may also contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks.
- Unplug computers and appliances.
- Avoid using the phone during the storm.
- Stay indoors away from windows; and keep children and pets indoors as well.
- Stay vigilant and monitor conditions. Note that the landscape may have changed following bushfires.
- For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500.
The next warning is due to be issued by 9:15 pm.
Visit the bureau’s website at www.bom.gov.au or phone 1300 659 210.