Ausgrid emergency crews working to restore power to homes in Merriwa and Gungal

Severe storms cause havoc to power supply

AUSGRID emergency crews are working to safely restore power to homes and businesses in the Hunter after severe storms swept through on Thursday afternoon.

At 4.45pm on January 16, power is out to 10,400 customers across parts of Port Stephens, Newcastle, Maitland and the Upper Hunter.

The main impacted areas include Raymond Terrace, Woodberry, Mayfield, Karuah, Tighes Hill, Merriwa, Gungal, Waratah, Heatherbrae, Swan Bay and Mayfield East.

"Power is being progressively restored where it is safe to do," an Ausgrid spokesperson said.

"However, residents in areas still without electricity now should plan to be without power for dinner this evening and make alternative arrangements where possible.

"Supply has already been restored in Cardiff, Cardiff Heights, Elermore Vale and pockets of surrounding areas."

Weatherzone recorded more than 10,000 lightning strikes in the Hunter on Thursday.

At Heatherbrae a large tree toppled onto powerlines and Ausgrid is asking residents to be careful around storm debris or fallen trees and branches, which can hide hazards such as fallen powerlines.

If you see fallen powerlines always assume they're live, never approach them, stay at least eight metres away and phone Ausgrid on 131 388.

Information on outages and estimated restoration times can be found at Ausgrid.com.au/poweroutages