Environment

Heavy rain threatens flash flooding in NSW Central Coast and Hunter

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The bureau warns very heavy rainfall rates exceeding 70mm in one hour are possible due to the thunderstorm activity.

Water from the storm drain overflow laps at Hooke Street, Dungog, after heavy rainfall.

Photo: Melissa Burton

Ms Barr said a number of locations, particularly the Barrington Tops, had received “fairly high” rainfall totals, approaching 100mm, over the six hours to 9am.

“Places like Chichester along the Hunter River have seen some heavy totals also out of thunderstorm activity as well as persistent showers,” she said.

Dungog in the Hunter Valley received 68 millimetres in the hour from 4.10am to 5.10am, and a total of 98.6mm in the six hours to 9am.

Flooding at Bennett Park after heavy rain in Dungog.

Photo: Melissa Burton

Dungog resident Melissa Burton said the bulk of overnight rain fell between 4am and 6am.

“There was a fair whack that came down in that first hour,” she said.

While the rain had paused mid-morning, Ms Burton said the weather bureau had warned residents not to expect that to last and, by 10.20am, it had begun to rain heavily again.

“It’s officially raining louder than my TV,” she said.

The bureau’s severe thunderstorm warning also said the heavy rainfall might lead to flash flooding over the next several hours.

“Locations which may be affected include Forster, Seal Rocks, Bulahdelah, Nelson Bay and Raymond Terrace," the bureau said.

While rain is forecast for Sydney over the next few days, Ms Barr said rainfall would not reach severe levels.

“While parts of the Illawarra and Sydney will experience persistent showers, we're not expecting them to reach our severe weather threshold,” she said.

Ms Barr said there was also a marine wind warning for the Hunter and Sydney coasts, and a hazardous surf warning due to dangerous surf conditions and strong wings for the Macquarie and Hunter coasts.

With Peter Hannam

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Rachel Clun is a reporter at the Sydney Morning Herald. She was previously a reporter with the Brisbane Times and Domain.

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