WHETHER you want to lay the blame on climate change, or believe the weather has always been like this, there's no denying that Newcastle has copped its share of wild weather in the first 20 years of the 21st century, with the latest bout buffeting the city and suburbs on Sunday night.
As a maritime city, Newcastle has a long history of associating storms with shipwrecks.
A well-known image of the sailing ship Adolphe, grounded off Stockton in September 1904, shows her sideways in the surf, with the wind blowing the spray off a large wave breaking behind her.
Other recent events include the massive storms that swept across the Hunter Region to peak on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, and the localised flooding that hit Lambton and other suburbs in late February this year.
And while this week's burst of rain might not be a record breaker, the storm that arrived with immediate intensity on Sunday afternoon caused a spate of flash flooding across the city and suburbs, with all of the havoc that such emergencies bring.
As bad as they were, things could have been worse.
A photograph in today's report on the storm shows water coming close to spilling over the Ironbark Creek stormwater channel near Tyrell Street, Wallsend, an area that has a deserved reputation for flooding.
Indeed, it was the devastation at Wallsend during the Pasha Bulker storm that became the impetus for a program of mitigation works and bridge improvements that still has a way to go, 13 years later.
In the introduction to its online interactive flood risk map, Newcastle City Council says flooding affects as many as one in three Newcastle properties.
And the risk, of course, is not confined to Newcastle.
In Lake Macquarie, low-lying areas of Cardiff, around Winding Creek, face similar problems to Wallsend.
If the rain is heaviest over the Hunter Valley, then the water pours downstream from the headwaters of the Hunter River, as happened with the 1955 Maitland flood, rated as one of the worst natural disasters in Australian history.
Flooding, then, is an ever-present risk, even if we only tend to think of it once the waters start to rise.
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