The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Maitland and parts of New South Wales.
Damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding are likely.
The severe thunderstorms were deteced on the weather radar at 3.35pm at West Wallsend and are moving southeast.
The State Emergency Service 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.
- 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.
- Unplug computers and appliances.
- Avoid using the phone during the storm.
- Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.
For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES on 132 500.