Register online now for Newcastle's free flash flood alert service or find out more information below. Please read the terms and conditions.
City of Newcastle trialled the flash flood alert service in Wallsend in 2016. A minor flood event occurred in January 2016, which was sufficient in testing the alert service to its full potential. The results of the trial were positive and the registered users commended the service and expressed their approval to see it continue.
In 2017, City of Newcastle expanded the alert service so that it can provide similar alerts in other flood affected areas of Newcastle. The service is permanent and free of charge to registered users and is managed by Early Warning Network (EWN).
How to register
To participate in the free service you must be registered. Online registration is easy. Simply complete the registration form by entering your information and locations you would like to receive alerts for. If you need assistance to register, please call us on 4974 2000.
There are eight flood alert areas and you can select the ones you would like to receive alerts for. The alert areas are:
- Wallsend and Elermore Vale vicinity
- Jesmond, Birmingham Gardens and Callaghan
- Kotara and New Lambton vicinity
- Lambton, Hamilton, Islington, Broadmeadow and Mayfield
- Merewether, Junction, Cooks Hill and Newcastle West
- Carrington, Stockton, Maryville and Wickham
- Beresfield, Tarro, Hexham and Sandgate
- Stockton, Kooragang, Carrington and Wickham.
If you're already registered, you can sign into the service to amend your registration and receive alerts for other areas of Newcastle.
Anyone can register to the free flood alert service but those who would most benefit include:
- If you are a resident within a flood affected area of Newcastle
- If you work within a flood affected area of Newcastle
- If you regularly visit the Newcastle LGA
- If you own a business in the Newcastle LGA.
Do you live, work or play in a flood prone area? Use our interactive map to identify your flood risk.
Three alert levels are provided for each warning area. Each alert gives potential conditions in the local area, potential flood conditions and recommended actions.
Minor flood warning is to inform you there is potential for flooding in your area. Watch the situation and prepare for flooding with your emergency kit. See floodsafe for details.
Moderate flood warning is to inform you there is moderate potential for flooding. Stay indoors unless an evacuation order is issued and never drive, ride or walk in floodwater.
Major flood warning is to inform you there is major potential for flooding. Stay indoors unless an evacuation order is issued and never drive, ride or walk in floodwater.
Alerts are sent by:
- SMS (optional)
- Recorded voice message to your landline (optional)
Warnings may be sent at any time.
How are the alerts activated?
By continuously monitoring local rainfall gauges, EWN sends alerts based on rainfall intensity and duration. Trigger points for sending alert messages have been established that attempt to balance uncertainty in flood response and the need to provide early warning but prevent sending false alerts.
The alert only covers flooding. It does not provide warning for other weather events such as hail, destructive winds and severe thunderstorms.
What do I do if I receive an alert?
If you receive an alert, there is very limited time to respond. Flooding may already be occurring.
If you are located in low lying parts of the catchment, you should consider preparing by locating your emergency kit, turning on local radio (ABC Radio Newcastle) and following the advice of the SES.
Most flood-related incidents occur when people enter floodwaters. Do not drive or walk into floodwater, especially where a current exists, even if the water appears to be shallow.
If you are trapped by rising floodwaters, seek refuge in the highest part of a sturdy building or on higher ground.
For more information on how to prepare for floods go to floodsafe and Get Ready Newcastle.
All EWN alerts rely on independent telecommunications networks. As emergencies can cause some system failure, alerts can be delayed or not received. Keep a battery-powered radio handy as a backup in emergency situations and listen out for weather warnings.
Due to the catchment topography and the pattern of urban development, prolonged heavy rainfall can cause flash flooding in the lower reaches of catchments very rapidly with limited warning time. During such events it is common for flood waters to flow through streets and carparks; these floodwaters can be deep, fast moving and highly hazardous.
City of Newcastle and partners 'NSW State Emergency Service', 'Bureau of Meteorology', 'Department of Planning, Industry and Environment' and 'Hunter Water Corporation' engage EWN to administer a flash flood alert service for flood affected areas of Newcastle. This is an action of the Newcastle City Wide Floodplain Management Plan 2012.