The Bureau of Meteorology is warning Hunter residents to be on flood watch. 

The Bureau has advised that heavy rainfall and damaging winds are expected on Thursday into the weekend, with between 50 and 100 millimetres forecast to fall across the region from today until Saturday.

 68 millimetres of rain had already fallen at Blacksmiths in Lake Macquarie since 9am on Thursday as of 1.00pm, and 50 millimetres at Mereweather. 

Minor to moderate flooding is expected in the Wollombi Brook & Lower Hunter River. 

Locals are being reminded not to drive through flood waters, after a driver was rescued by the State Emergency Service after getting stuck in floodwaters on Oakdale Road at Gateshead. 

SES Deputy Commissioner, Daniel Austin says everyone needs to be careful. 

“It doesn’t take much water to float a car, about 15 centimeters is all it takes. You see images all the time of people trying to drive through well over the wheel arches.”

A number of roads are affected by flood waters including;

  • The Pacific Highway at Ferodale
  • The Newcastle Inner City Bypass near University Drive
  • Warners Bay on King Street between Hillsborough Road/Medcalf Street and Myles Avenue 
  • One of two northbound lanes closed on the Pacific Highway at Gateshead near the inner city bypass. 

Hunter Water says heavy rain events lead to storm water and debris infiltrating the wastewater system and can cause overflows.

Marine Rescue NSW is also warning boaters to stay off the water.