Bureau of Meteorology issues severe thunderstorm warning for Northern Tablelands

A SEVERE thunderstorm, likely to produce large hailstones, has been issued for our region. 

The Bureau of Meteorology has just issued the warning for people in Northern Tablelands and parts of Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast and North West Slopes and Plains Forecast Districts.

The severe thunderstorms are likely to produce large hailstones and damaging winds in the warning area over the next several hours.

Locations which may be affected include Grafton, Armidale, Tamworth, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Tabulam, Maclean, Dorrigo and Bendemeer.

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 on 131 388, or Endeavour Energy on 131 003 or Essential Energy on 132 080, 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 next warning is due to be issued by 6.16pm.

Warnings are also available through TV and Radio broadcasts, the Bureau's website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 218. The Bureau and State Emergency Service would appreciate warnings being broadcast regularly.