Port Stephens SES units on standby following 133mm of rain and more to come

Port Stephens SES Unit on scene to a flooded road on Sunday night. Picture: Facebook/NSW SES - Port Stephens Unit
Port Stephens SES Unit on scene to a flooded road on Sunday night. Picture: Facebook/NSW SES - Port Stephens Unit

A low pressure system off the Hunter coast produced heavy rainfall, hazardous surf and damaging winds in Port Stephens on Sunday, which lasted until the early hours of Monday morning.

The Williamtown weather station, located at the RAAF base, recorded 133mm of rainfall in the 24 hours to 9am on Monday, July 27, the highest of the month.

According to the NSW Bureau of Meteorology, Port Stephens residents can expect further rainfall and winds up to 25km/h throughout Monday and Tuesday.

The Raymond Terrace-based Port Stephens SES unit said it had been "extremely busy" since 2pm on Sunday responding to "multiple storm and flood jobs throughout the community".

More than 300 sandbags were filled for the community on Sunday night. The unit's 'swift water rescue' technicians remain on standby to assist should a flooding situation arise.

For flood or storm assistance, phone the SES on please call 132 500.

Port Stephens SES Unit members creating sandbags on Sunday night. More than 300 were filled.

Port Stephens SES Unit members creating sandbags on Sunday night. More than 300 were filled.

During a severe weather event, the SES advises that people should:

  • Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
  • Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
  • Keep at least 8m away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energised, such as fences.
  • Trees that have been damaged by fire are likely to be more unstable and more likely to fall. 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.
  • 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.
  • Be aware that run-off from rainfall in fire affected areas may behave differently and be more rapid. It may also contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks.
  • After bushfires, heavy rain and the loss of foliage can make the ground soft and heavy, leading to a greater chance of landslides.
  • Stay vigilant and monitor conditions. Note that the landscape may have changed following bushfires.
  • For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.

It was not just the SES that was kept busy in Port Stephens at the weekend, but Port Stephens Marine Rescue unit, too.

About 7pm on Saturday the Nelson Bay-based Marine Rescue unit responded to a mayday call between Port Stephens and Broughton Island.

The unit's PS31 vessel was tasked by water police to respond to the mayday call for an overturned boat near the former NSW DPI and Huon fish farm. Four people were reported to be in the water.

It is the third mayday call the unit has responded to in July.

A crew of five Marine Rescue volunteers left Nelson Bay about 7.30pm. By about 8pm they were on scene and reported finding four "extremely cold men sitting on an upturned vessel".

"There was a reasonable swell in the area. One by one they were pulled on-board PS31," the unit said. "PS31 returned to the dock at 9pm where an ambulance assisted the injured passengers."