THE Riverina is being warned to brace for a severe thunderstorm bringing heavy rains and damaging winds.
The Bureau of Meteorology expanded the warning zone about 10am today, stating the low pressure trough would bring unsettled conditions to Wagga, Young, West Wyalong, Griffith, Narrandera, Cootamundra, Gundagai, Tumut, Junee, Holbrook, Lockhart and Darlington Point.
The storms are likely to produce damaging winds and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours.
Heavy rain has already fallen in parts of the region on Thursday. Narrandera recorded 17 millimetres of rain in the two hours to 9am and a further 15.8mm has fallen on the town between 9am and 9.30am.
Wagga's forecast is predicting a 70 per cent chance of rain and winds up to 30km/h, so far receiving almost 2 millimetres of rain since 9am.
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 Essential Energy (132 080)
- Trees that have been damaged by fire are likely to be more unstable and more likely to fall
- Keep clear of creeks and storm drains
- Don't walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water
- If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue
- Be aware that run-off from rainfall in fire affected areas may behave differently and be more rapid. It may also contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks
- After bushfires, heavy rain and the loss of foliage can make the ground soft and heavy, leading to a greater chance of landslides
- Unplug computers and appliances
- Avoid using the phone during the storm
- Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well
- Stay vigilant and monitor conditions. Note that the landscape may have changed following bushfires
- For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500