LIVE: The Hunter's Big Wet Forces School Closures

All the latest news and info..

LIVE: The Hunter's Big Wet Forces School Closures Alan Ross

9:22AM

Cessnock Council reports Old North Road is closed at North Rothbury along with Lovedale Road at Lovedale (at the via duct).

7:36AM

Here's an update from Newcastle City Council re: rubbish collections.

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6:49AM

The SES has responded to more than 500 jobs in the Hunter, while five flood rescues have been carried out overnight.

Moderate flooding is possible along the Williams and Paterson Rivers today, with low-lying areas around Dungog under water.

Thankfully no homes have been inundated.

There's also a minor flood warning for the Myall River at Bulahdelah.

Click here for the latest info on flooding along the Williams and Paterson Rivers.

6:22AM

Several roads remain under water across the Hunter including:

Kalaroo Road, Redhead (closed)

The Weir Road, Barnsley (closed)

Wine Country Drive, Cessnock

Allandale Road, Cessnock

Testers Hollow

There's also a monster pothole on Medowie Road.

4:45AM THURSDAY

Several Hunter schools and preschools are closed Thursday because of flooding concerns:

- Dungog High School

- Dungog Public School

- Glen William Public School

- St Josephs Primary School

- Joeys Early Learning

- Dungog Community Preschool

- Edgeworth Childcare Centre

The following events have been cancelled/postponed due to the wet weather:

- Newcastle Knights All Schools Secondary Girls Rugby League Day scheduled for Friday at McKeachies Oval has been postponed until April 6

6:40PM

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6:26PM

The following roads and bridges are currently closed at Dungog to flooding:

Berrys Bridge on Pinebrush Road

Fosterton Bridge on Fosterton Road

Thalaba Bridge at Alison Road

Myall Creek Road is closed to heavy vehicles at Ryan's Bridge

5:47PM

All southbound lanes of the Pacific Highway are now open at Gateshead, however northbound lanes remain closed due to flooding.

5:24PM

Hard to believe, but even more heavy rain is forecast tonight into Thursday. Here are the biggest rainfall amounts since 9am:

Eleebana - 154mm

Macquarie College (Wallsend) - 142mm

Upper Chichester - 131mm

Lookout Rd (New Lambton Heights) - 126mm

4:40PM

Here's the latest list of road closures due to flooding:

Pacific Highway at Oakdale Road, Gateshead (all lanes are closed except 1 southbound lane)

Weir Road, Barnsley

Several local roads around Dungog, including Main Creek Road between Dungog and Main Creek

4:01PM

The SES has performed two flood rescues on the Pacific Hwy at Edgeworth and Bennetts Green. Both drivers are ok.

Crews have received more than 200 jobs for storm damage across the Hunter today, half of them from Lake Macquarie.

3:55PM 

The BOM has issued a moderate flood warning for the Williams and Paterson Rivers.

The Williams River at Dungog is likely to exceed the minor flood level (4.90 m) around 6:00 pm Wednesday. Moderate flooding is possible overnight Wednesday into Thursday.

The Williams River at Mill Dam Falls is likely to exceed the minor flood level (6.10 m) overnight Wednesday. Moderate flooding is possible during Thursday.

The Paterson River at Gostwyck Bridge may reach the minor flood level (9.10 m) Thursday afternoon. Moderate flooding is possible during Thursday.

3:08PM

Here's the latest list of road closures due to flooding:

Main Road near Impala Street, Edgeworth (eastbound)

King Street at Bayview Street, Warners Bay (all directions)

Pacific Highway near Inner City Bypass, Gateshead (both directions)

Oakdale Road, Gateshead (both directions)

Main Road at Fern Valley Road, Cardiff (both directions)

Weir Road, Barnsley (both directions)

2:20PM

Plattsburg Public School is being evacuated. Parents are advised to pick up their children ASAP.

2:10PM

Exercise caution on the Pacific Hwy near Newcastle Inner City Bypass due to flooding on the road.

Meantime Kelly Pearce sent us this photo of her backyard at Lewis St, Wallsend. 

2:00PM

A detailed severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for the Maitland, Cessnock and Newcastle areas. 

Heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected in Charlestown, Boolaroo and Lake Macquarie by 1:55 pm and Newcastle City, West Wallsend and Cardiff by 2:25 pm.

Meantime Gerard Burkill took this shot of Federal Park, Wallsend just after midday. 

1:30PM

Newcastle Council has been forced to close some of its services this afternoon due to the heavy rain. 

 1:15PM

It's been bucketing down around Wallsend. Mara Little sent through this video of the water coming through the doors at Macquarie College. 

Meantime students at Dungog Primary and Dungog High School have been sent home early due to the wet weather. 

1:00PM

There's minor flooding affecting Main Rd, Cardiff at Fern Valley Road in both directions. 

While there's also reports of issues on Park Avenue, Kotara so go easy driving through the area. 

We've just been sent this picture of the rain coming down along Kitchener Parade, Mayfield East.

12:20PM

There's reports of minor road flooding around Industrial Drive, Mayfield towards the Tourle Street bridge thanks to heavy rain.
 
While there's also reports of issues along the Pacific Highway/Maitland Road area between Sandgate and Hexham.
 
Kate Picton has sent through this photo of the storm water drain outside of Tighes Hill TAFE and it's completely full.

12:00PM

An earlier detailed severe thunderstorm warning issued for the Hunter has now passed. 

However a severe weather warning remains in place as heavy rains and winds continue to batter the region. 

A phenomenal amount of rain has fallen so far. 

Wallsend has received 35mm in an hour, while Barrington Tops has seen 66mm over the same time and Upper Chichester has received 76mm over the same period. 

There's been minor isolated flooding in parts of Dungog. 

The SES has sandbags available at the following locations: 

Maitland Unit- Waterworks Rd, Rutherford, NSW 
Dungog Unit- Clarence Town Rd, Dungog, NSW 
Singleton Unit- 9-11 Queen st Singleton, NSW

Tomaree Unit- 55 A Sandy Point Rd, Corlette

Newcastle Unit - 75 Elizabeth Street, Newcastle NSW

10:30AM

A detailed severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for parts of the Hunter. 

It's expected to hit Raymond Terrace, Williamtown and Medowie by 10:35 am and Seaham, Morpeth and Tocal by 11:05 am.

Heavy rainfall has the potential to create flash flooding in parts. 

The State Emergency Service advises that people should: 
* 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 (NSW) on 132 500. 

7:00AM

The severe weather warning remains in place today with as much as 200mm expected in parts once the cell intensifies later this morning and into the afternoon.

Thankfully the SES has reported no major incidents with 650 volunteers on standby across the region.

Police have allocated extra resources including Marine Area Command units to monitor the coastal fringes.

Newcastle and Lake Macquaire have been told to prepare for possible flash flooding - especially in suburbs near storm water drains.

 Wednesday, 21st March 5:31AM

The Hunter is preparing for torrential rain as severe weather hits this morning. 

A coastal trough cradled between two strong high pressure systems is creating intense falls and storms. 

There's a severe weather warning in place, with Dungog receiving a 114mm between 4am and 5am. 

While the rest of the region is being warned to expect anywhere between 100mm and 200mm today. 

Locations which may be affected include Newcastle, Cessnock, Maitland, Singleton, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens and Buledelah.

There's also a flood alert in place for Wollombi Brook along with the Lower Hunter, Paterson, Williams and Karuah Rivers.

Some 650 SES personnel are on standby and have spent the past 24 hours handing out sandbags ahead of conditions deteriorating. 

So far there's no reports of any road closures or power outages. 

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Don't drive, ride or walk through flood water.
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
* If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring
000 if you need rescue.
* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.

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