MORE than 5500 homes lost power, trees blocked roads and a helicopter had to make an unscheduled landing when a large storm hit the Hunter about 7pm last night.
The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe storm warning and by 7.30pm it had reported heavy rain that swept south-west across the Hunter from Maitland and Dungog to Raymond Terrace and Newcastle.
In inner Newcastle, an estimated 3500 homes were blacked out just after 7pm in suburbs including The Junction, Cooks Hill and Bar Beach.
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A further 1000 residents between Thornton and Paterson also lost power and 1300 at Tanilba Bay.
Power was restored to Newcastle suburbs by 8pm.
Ausgrid expected affected owners in the Thornton to Paterson area to be without power for some time while they tried to locate the fault.
Media manager Allyn Hamonet said they worked as quickly as possible.
At Bulahdelah, a helicopter had to make an unscheduled landing at Bulahdelah Showground because of the inclement weather.
A tree came down across Tomago Road, Tomago.
At Raymond Terrace, bollards were swept into the middle of the road.
At Morpeth, a car hit a trampoline on Metford Road.