The Bureau of Meteorology has released a severe weather warning for parts of the Hunter.
As of 2.45pm today, severe thunderstorms were detected on the radar near Paxton, Bellbird, and Sweetmans Creek (west of Cessnock).
Moving southeast, they are forecast to affect Belmont, Cessnock, Swansea, Lake Macquarie, Charlestown, Cardiff, Boolaroo, and Warners Bay.
According to the Bureau, damaging winds and large hailstones are likely.
The State Emergency Service (SES) advises that locals should move their cars away from trees, and secure all loose items around your house, yard, and balcony.
In the result of fallen power lines or fences, they’re asking people to keep at least eight metres away. The SES is also asking that locals 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.
For extra protection, it’s suggested computers and appliances be unplugged, and phone use be avoided during the storm.
Where possible, the SES is asking people stay indoors, away from windows. Children and pets should be kept indoors as well.
A more general severe thunderstorm warning is also being issued for the Hunter, Metropolitan, Central Tablelands, and parts of the Mid North Coast, Illawarra, Southern Tablelands, North West Slopes and Plains, Central West Slopes and Plains and South West Slopes districts.
Warnings are available through the Bureau of Meteorology’s website.
For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES on 132 500.