Maitland and Cessnock are warned to expect strong winds on Sunday February 11 2018

SEVERE storms are expected to lash parts of the Hunter including Cessnock and Maitland on Sunday evening. 

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a warning shortly before 5pm advising damaging winds would sweep through those areas, as well as Grafton and Tenterfield in the state’s north, later this afternoon. 

“If severe thunderstorms develop in Sydney Newcastle Wollongong or surrounding areas, a more detailed Severe Thunderstorm Warning will be issued to people in this area,” the Bureau advised. 

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.