Storm damaged crops to be inspected
UPDATE 3.36pm: AGRICULTURAL damage following the significant storm and hail event across the North Coast over the weekend will be assessed by North Coast Local Land Services.
Staff will be available to receive individual damage reports and meet with farmers to assess damage as a result of this storm activity.
Manager Biosecurity and Emergency Services, Jo McGoldrick, has encouraged land managers to call 1300 795 299 or contact their nearest Local Land Services office to report storm damage.
"We would like to speak to farmers to gain an understanding of the full extent of damage across the region and to determine the areas affected," Ms McGoldrick said.
Local Land Services will collate the information reported by farmers into an Agricultural Natural Disaster Report for the Department of Primary Industries.
The Department of Primary Industries is working with industry representatives to understand and respond to the storms at the whole of state level.
Customer service staff are ready to assist farmers who need to report damage or visit www.northcoast.lls.nsw.gov.au/emergency/emergency-contacts for more information.
UPDATE, 7.15am: THE Bureau of Meteorology says there is an 80 per cent chance of more rain today, with the chance of a thunderstorm in the late afternoon.
North Coast Storm Chasers' forecaster, Antonio Parancin, says supercells are likely to form later today.
UPDATE 6.35am: TENNIS ball-sized hail smashed the Northern Rivers last night as an "epic" storm front hit.
Some residents reported major damage during the severe weather.
Original story: THE Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for large hailstones, heavy rainfall and damaging winds.
The warning was issued at 6.55pm and is for people in Northern Rivers and parts of North West Slopes and Plains and Northern Tablelands Forecast Districts.
Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce large hailstones, heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding and damaging winds in the warning area over the next several hours.
Giant hail (greater than or equal to 5cm), destructive wind gusts and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding are possible in the northeast of the Northern Tablelands and in the Northern Rivers district.
Locations which may be affected include Lismore, Grafton, Tenterfield, Byron Bay, Ballina, Casino, Kyogle, Yamba and Maclean.
A BOM spokesperson said 3-4cm diameter hail was observed at Lantiza near Grafton at 3:10pm.
A BOM spokesman said a hail storm was possible in Lismore and Ballina and Alstonville tonight.
"There is a pretty large thunderstorm that is tracking between Lismore and Ballina, and is probably going to skirt around East Lismore," he said.
"The chances of hail are pretty high, we've had reports of 3 to 4cm diameter hail at South of Grafton just after 3pm today.
"There's been other very large thunderstorms over the Northern Rivers, so it's a favourable situation for hail."
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.
* 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.
* 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 9:55 pm.
Warnings are also available through TV and Radio broadcasts, the Bureau's website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 218.