Due to the catchment topography and the pattern of urban development, prolonged heavy rainfall can cause flash flooding in the lower reaches of catchments very rapidly with limited warning time. During such events it is common for flood waters to flow through streets and carparks; these floodwaters can be deep, fast moving and highly hazardous.
City of Newcastle (CN) and partners 'NSW State Emergency Service', 'Bureau of Meteorology', 'Department of Planning, Industry and Environment' and 'Hunter Water Corporation' engage EWN to administer a flash flood alert service for flood affected areas of Newcastle. This is an action of the Newcastle City Wide Floodplain Management Plan 2012.
CN trialled the flash flood alert service in Wallsend in 2016. A minor flood event occurred in January 2016, which was sufficient in testing the alert service to its full potential. The results of the trial were positive and the registered users commended the service and expressed their approval to see it continue.
In 2017, CN expanded the alert service so that it can provide similar alerts in other flood affected areas of Newcastle. The service is permanent and free of charge to registered users and is managed by Early Warning Network (EWN).