The Bureau of Meteorology has just issued a severe thunderstorm warning for damaging wind for people in the Northern Tablelands and parts of Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Hunter and North West Slopes and Plains Forecast Districts.
Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds in the warning area over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Grafton, Armidale, Tamworth, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Casino, Tabulam, Dorrigo, Bellata, Boggabri, Bendemeer and Bingara.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover or away from trees.
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
* Keep at least 8 metres away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energised, such as fences.
* 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.
* 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.
The weather forecaster has also issued a fire weather warning, with total fire bans issued for most of northern New South Wales.