Update on extreme weather events

With sadness I can report that three elderly people from Dungog have died as a result of the current extreme weather. Please report any emergencies to 000 and avoid all non-essential travel.

Below is a summary of the current status of local agencies, correct as of 1pm 21/04/2015. Further updates are available at: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/3024770/live-blog-wild-weather-lashes-the-hunter/?cs=303

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LAKE MACQUARIE CITY COUNCIL: Many local roads affected by flood water and debris including fallen trees. Avoid all non-essential travel. LMCC staff are clearing roads and assisting locals as quickly as possible. Check @lakemac on twitter for updates.

SES/EMERGENCY SERVICE: There are reports of delays in getting through to SES. Callers are asked to stay on the line to report serious incidents. SES has responded to over 3000 incidents across NSW including approximately 1000 incidents in the Hunter. This has included 19 rescues from flood water. SES again reminds people not to enter flood water. Call SES on 132 500 or 000 in emergencies.

Police, ambulance and fire service are responding to incidents as they develop.

AUSGRID: Emergency crews are responding to more than 3000 reports of hazards including fallen poles and powerlines and trees on wires. 90,000 customers without power across Newcastle, the Hunter, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens. Ausgrid is warning that it could take several days before all repairs are made and power returned. Report fallen lines to AusGrid 13 13 88.

ROADS: Approximately 160 traffic lights are out across the region. Flooding on Newcastle Inner City Bypass below Myall Rd, on the Pacific Highway at Bennetts Green and on Industrial Drive at Tighes Hill. A tree has blocked traffic on the Pacific Highway at Adamstown Heights near Northcott Ave and on John Renshaw Drive at Black Hill. Many local roads affected by flood water and debris including fallen trees. Avoid all non-essential travel.

MARITME: A section of Pelican Marina in the Hunter has broken away. Several boats have broken loose from moorings with at least one report of a boat sinking on Lake Macquarie. All non-essential boating should be avoided.

HUNTER WATER: Water outages reported at Bonnells Bay, Coal Point, Elemore Vale & Mount Hutton. Check for updates at www.hunterwater.com/outages

HEALTH: Many hospitals are operating on generator power. Call 000 in emergencies. All non-urgent appointments should be rescheduled.

NEWCASTLE CITY COUNCIL: Many local roads affected by flood water and debris including fallen trees. Avoid all non-essential travel. There is a substantial risk of trees failing, so exercise extreme caution. NCC staff are assisting with the clearing of streets. Check @CityNewcastle on twitter for updates.

EDUCATION: All University of Newcastle & all Hunter TAFE campuses are closed. Many schools are closed and students should be kept home where possible. The Annual Combined Schools Anzac Service has been postponed until May 6 due to the storms. The event, originally scheduled for Wednesday, includes 1500 children and adults.

TELSTRA: Service outages in the Dudley/Redhead area for fixed phone lines and ADSL. Telstra is currently estimating at least 24 hours to restore service. Mobile service is unavailable or intermittent is some areas.