Police and emergency services have warned Hunter residents to be prepared and not to take risks ahead of forecast dangerous weather conditions that could be felt as soon as Friday.
Tropical cyclone Uesi was tracking towards the NSW coast on Thursday afternoon with heavy rainfall and three-to-four metre swells expected to batter the coast in the coming days.
Bureau of Meteorology acting manager of weather services Mike Funnell said further coastal erosion was expected.
"In the last week we have seen the beaches themselves change shape with the storm surge. This weekend the tides are not going to be as high but with the large swell coming into the north coast on Friday and down into the Central Coast on Saturday morning we are still expecting damaging conditions along the coast," he said.
In addition, a low pressure inland trough is likely to bring thunderstorms and flooding to the coast.
Director of Operations for Marine Rescue NSW, Andrew Crib, warned boaters, fishermen and surfers to avoid the ocean in coming days.
"The sea is a very dangerous place to be this weekend," he said.
Mr Crib also warned anyone planning to travel through or across flood waters or inland rivers, particularly those in fire-affected communities, to be vigilant and rethink the need to do so.
"If you have to go out, there's a lot of submerged debris out there," he said.
Preparations were in full swing on Thursday to shore-up the severely eroded Stockton foreshore with sand bags ahead of the expected heavy swell.
City of Newcastle staff continued to position four and one tonne sandbags around the most vulnerable areas near the Pines and in front of the caravan park.
Worrying sign: Thursday's high tide gave a glimpse of the surging surf that is expected to arrive on the weekend. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
All accessways along the beach have been closed until further notice.
Erosion at the southern end of Blacksmiths Beach is also expected to worsen in coming days.
The beach has been closed to 4WD vehicles until further notice.
Jimmys Beach, an erosion hot spot near Hawks Nest, was holding up well on Thursday afternoon.
"The swell has been coming from the north-east so far but if it swings around to the south it will be a different story," Myall River Action Group spokesman Gordon Grainger said.
Torrential rain, which caused significant flooding around Tuggerah Lakes at The Entrance last weekend, is expected to return in coming days.
The funding allows the councils to apply for assistance to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets.
"We're pleased this declaration enables us to deal with the short-term impact, but we will continue to call for urgent support from the Premier, Deputy Premier, Environment and Local Government Ministers to deliver a viable long-term solution [for Stockton]," she said.
NSW Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said the State Emergency Services received 13,464 requests for assistance including 314 flood rescue activations.
"Many families and businesses have been affected by these severe storms. Sadly some of these areas are still recovering from recent bushfires and have been dealt another blow by this additional natural disaster," he said.
"The assistance being announced today will help cover the costs associated with the operational response and repairing damaged essential public assets," such as roads."
The Bureau of Meteorology said key climate drivers the Indian Ocean Dipole and the El Nino-Southern Isolation are currently neutral
Meteorologist Grace Legge said neutral systems meant there was less likelihood of continued heavy rain in coming months needed to break the drought.
"When we go into El Nino we generally see a drying trend and in a La Nina we see the opposite," she said.
"But when it's in neutral we are less likely to see multiple months of above-average significant rainfall. That doesn't mean we won't see intense systems that bring the wide falls we've seen over the weekend, but we're less likely to see the widespread rainfall over multiple months."
The bureau is is predicting daytime and nighttime autumn temperatures to be above average.
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