Heavy rain across the Hunter has seen the closure of roads in Port Stephens and further north to Tea Gardens, and the cancellation of flights out of Williamtown.
A trough of low pressure off the coast is bringing heavy rain and vigorous southeasterly winds to the Hunter coast, including Port Stephens.
The NSW Bureau of Meteorology on Monday morning issued a severe weather warning for the Hunter and Central Coast, warning people in the area of heavy rain, damaging winds, possible flash flooding and hazardous surf conditions.
Sections of Medowie were reportedly heavily affected by water over the roads throughout Monday afternoon including Boyd Boulevard, Kirrang Drive, South Street and Sir Henry Parkes Avenue near Federation Drive.
Williamtown recorded a whopping 48.4mm of rain in just one hour to 8am on Monday. As of 3pm, 128mm of rain had fallen in Williamtown.
Medowie Road at the Nelson Bay Road intersection in Williamtown, nearest the RAAF base, has been closed.
"Traffic cannot turn into Medowie Road at this intersection," Port Stephens police advised.
"At the moment traffic can travel through the intersection between Nelson Bay and Newcastle. The RAAF base can be accessed from the other end of Medowie Road [via Richardson Road]."
Police were further advising motorists to take care on the roads during the "inclement weather that is upon us".
Newcastle Airport has advised that its airfield is closed due to flooding.
"Today's limited flight schedule is postponed," the Williamtown-based airport posted to its Facebook page. "The airfield is due to reopen tomorrow [Tuesday] morning."
Anyone with an affected flight is asked to contact their airline directly.
Port Stephens SES said about noon that it had received a large number of calls for assistance.
The unit said residents wishing to sandbag their homes and properties were welcome to visit its Raymond Terrace station at 31 Rees James Road for supplies.
"If you want to fill some sandbags for your home, we are open. Please bring your own shovel. We'll provide the bags and sand," the unit said.
North of Port Stephens, access to Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest and North Arm Cove was cut off due to flooding over the roads.
The Stroud SES Unit said about 2pm that the Myall Way from the highway to Pindimar Road, Viney Creek Road and North Arm Cove Road from Carrington Road were closed.
Sections of Pindimar Road had water over it but was not closed. The Bombah Ferry is closed.
In addition to heavy rain, the BOM severe weather warning was for damaging winds. The BOM predicted the weather system could see winds in the area averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts in excess of 90 km/h.
However, the heavy rain and damaging winds are expected to ease during Monday afternoon.
A hazardous surf warning for the coast remains in place.
With large and powerful sea swells of up to three and a half metres and strong winds forecast, conditions will be hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing, boating, surfing and swimming.
Joel Wiseman from Surf Lifesaving NSW said that conditions along the NSW coast are very dangerous and urged the public to exercise extreme caution.
"Surf conditions are extreme today and these hazardous conditions will continue into tomorrow [Tuesday]," he said.
"We strongly recommend members of the public not to engage in risky coastal activities such as rock fishing over the next two days. If people put themselves in danger in these conditions, it could be very challenging for our surf lifesavers to rescue them."
The State Emergency Service 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 eight metres 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.
For emergency help in floods and storms, phone your local SES Unit on 132 500.
According to the BOM, showers are expected to fall in Nelson Bay until Wednesday. In Raymond Terrace, the forecast is partly cloudy for Tuesday and showers on Wednesday.