SEVERE WEATHER WARNING FOR EAST COAST

A Severe Weather Warning for DAMAGING WINDS has been issued for the Mid North Coast, Hunter and the Northern Rivers.

The Bureau of Meteorology warning residents to expect strong winds averaging 50-65km/h today, right along the coast.
 
It comes as SES volunteers overnight responded to hundreds of calls for help across the state, including 41 in Newcastle, 35 in Lake Macquarie and 33 in Cessnock. Crews kept busy with downed trees, damaged roofs and power outages.
 

The next Severe Weather Warning will be issued at 5pm.

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 8 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.
* 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.