NRMA Insurance data ranks Port Macquarie state's most storm-affected region

Hot spot: Port Macquarie ranked as the most storm-affected region in the state. Photo: Ivan Sajko.
Hot spot: Port Macquarie ranked as the most storm-affected region in the state. Photo: Ivan Sajko.

HASTINGS residents are being urged to be prepared for the impacts of wild weather with Port Macquarie ranked in the latest insurance claims data as the state’s most storm-affected region.

The Mid-North Coast was the seventh most storm-impacted region in NSW during the last financial year with five per cent of all storm claims made in the state reported in the region, according to the latest report released by NRMA Insurance.

The last major storm to impact the region occurred in December 2016 with more than 14,000 homes left without power after high winds, severe lightning and intense rain cells lashed the region.

More than 5500 lightning strikes were recorded during the short but intense event including a major hit in Port Macquarie’s CBD that resulted in the removal of a large pine tree.

“Despite NSW experiencing its driest September on record, October marks the start of storm season and we have already seen severe storms strike many parts of the state,” NRMA spokesperson Ramana James said.

“Severe weather can strike at any time and preparation is key to limiting damage. Little acts like trimming branches, clearing your gutters and securing loose items in your garden or balcony can make a big difference when severe weather strikes.”

Community engagement officer for NSW SES Mid North Coast Region, Steve Lawrence, said now is the time for Hastings residents to have a plan in place when a severe storm hits.

“We’re preparing properties, trimming back tree branches and making sure that people can quickly secure and tie down things like outdoor furniture and trampolines,” he said.

“People often underestimate the power of the wind. We want people to listen out for severe thunderstorm warnings and to follow our storm season tips on our website.”