Power outages across Port Stephens after much-needed rain, crash at Tarro affecting traffic at Hexham

Ausgrid crews are working to restore power to parts of Port Stephens following a thunderstorm on Thursday afternoon.

The company said about 2pm that power is currently out to customers in Karuah, Oyster Cove, Salt Ash, Heatherbrae and Raymond Terrace, coming after heavy and much-needed rain fell in the Port shortly after 12pm.

"Our crew are working to safely restore power," Ausgrid said.

The storms may have damaged parts of the electricity network and Ausgrid is asking residents to stay safely clear of any fallen powerlines.

"If you see fallen powerlines always assume they're live, never approach them, stay at least 8 metres away and call Ausgrid on 131388."

Around 1300 residences were without power at Raymond Terrace on Thursday afternoon.

Power outage map from the Ausgrid website showing parts of Port Stephens without power about 2pm on Thursday.

Power outage map from the Ausgrid website showing parts of Port Stephens without power about 2pm on Thursday.

The NSW Bureau of Meteorology said the thunderstorm that passed over Medowie and Raymond Terrace on Thursday afternoon was moving east. It is forecast to affect Nelson Bay, Anna Bay and Fingal Bay by 2.15pm and waters off Port Stephens by 2.45pm.

Tomago was saturated after a 36 minute downpour dropped 71 millimetres.

The BOM said the severe thunderstorms are likely to produce heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding, damaging winds and large hailstones.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:

  • Move your car under cover
  • 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 and ACT) on 132 500

Transport authorities are also urging motorists to avoid Hexham Bridge following a collision along the New England Highway near Anderson Drive at Tarro between a truck and a car.

Only one lane of the highway is open in each direction past the crash site under a contra flow.

"If you're already in the area, allow plenty of extra travel time and take extra care as the roads are very wet," Transport NSW said.

"If you're heading south over the Hexham Bridge, you can't turn right onto the highway. You'll need to turn left onto Maitland Road, and travel through Sandgate and Jesmond to get back onto the M1 Pacific Motorway."

Emergency services and traffic crews are on site.