Wet weather hits Newcastle and the Hunter


Residents across the Hunter are being urged to take care as wet weather is expected to continue over the coming days.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast that heavy rainfall and damaging winds are likely to continue this afternoon, with Newcastle, Wallsend, Maitland, Toronto and Dungog all set to be affected.

Winds are likely to average 60 to 70 kilometres per hour with peak gusts of up to 90 kilometres per hour possible on the coastal fringe.

Hazardous surf conditions have also been predicted along the coast, with waves expected to hit up to three and a half metres.

Director of Surf Life Saving NSW, Joel Wiseman, has urged the public to exercise extreme caution and avoid activities such as rock fishing, boating, surfing and swimming.

“We strongly recommend members of the public not to engage in risky coastal activities such as rock fishing over the next two days,” he said.

Lake Macquarie during today’s deluge. Photo: Peter Stoop

“If people put themselves in danger in these conditions, it could be very challenging for our surf lifesavers to rescue them.”

In the hour leading up to 8am this morning, Williamtown welcomed 48.4 millimetres of rain.

The predicted conditions have potential to damage homes and property, as well as possibly causing trees and powerlines to fall.

The NSW State Emergency Service is reminding the community of ways to prepare for heavy rainfall and strong wind:

  • People can help prevent storm damage around their properties by trimming back overhanging branches
  • Secure or store away loose items around the yard or balcony
  • Stay clear of fallen trees or powerlines. It’s also important to avoid parking your cars under trees and powerlines; and
  • Never drive through floodwater and stay clear of creeks and storm drains
  • It’s likely that people will see a lot of water across main roads, the NSW SES is asking people over the next few days to drive to the conditions
  • Keep clear of creeks and storm drains

State Emergency Operations Controller, Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys, said this type of weather could create hazardous conditions on the roads.

“It has been a while since we’ve had significant rainfall, so I also want to remind all road users to take extra care,” he said.

“The key for motorists is drive or ride to the conditions; reduce your speed to make sure there’s enough braking distance between you and the vehicle in front.

“The weather will be particularly problematic for motorcycle riders and cyclists, so if you’ve got to be on the road, wear bright-coloured clothing, be seen by other vehicles, and share the roads safely.

“Those towing vans, trailers, and boats should also exercise added caution as roads will be slippery, and visibility will be impacted.

“Most importantly, if the road conditions get dangerous – things like flash flooding, mud or landslides, debris or trees on the road – get off the road and wait somewhere away from trees, drains and low-lying areas and floodwaters.”

The heavy rain and damaging winds are expected to ease this evening.

For the most up-to-date information during this weather event, visit bom.gov.au, ses.nsw.gov.au, and livetraffic.com.