Dubbo has been revealed as the state's worst storm-damaged hotspot for the most recent financial year, beating suburbs in the central coast and Newcastle in the state's north.
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The data comes from the NSW State Emergency Service, which ranks Dubbo first, followed by Bateau Bay, Belmont, Port Macquarie and Tuggerah rounding out the top five hotspots for call-outs during the 2022-2023 financial year.
One of the worst times for storm callouts in Dubbo was during a multi-cell storm on February 9, when more than 10,000 homes and businesses were left without power.
Brigid Rice, NSW SES Western Zone commander, said Dubbo had 550 call-outs during the most recently completed financial year, 3.5 times the jobs compared to the previous financial year.
She said the call-out data was made up of severe flooding as well as storms.
"Don't underestimate what the storm can do, make sure your gutters are clear - that's fantastic for both storm and fire season," Commander Rice told the Daily Liberal.
"Make sure your gutters are clear because the majority of jobs that we get called to are actually water overflowing from blocked up gutters into a roof cavity. The water just cannot get away quickly enough."
The NSW SES data was released as part of a joint call-out by the emergency response body along with insurer AAMI, warning NSW residents about the dangers of storm season.
Dubbo was number two in AAMI's own list of top suburbs for insurance call-outs during the financial year, beaten only by Port Macquarie, and followed in the number-three spot by Forbes.
The central west town of Orange made the list as well, coming in at number five.
AAMI head of home claims NSW, Paul Callanan, said rain, followed by hail and flood were the most common causes of damage to homes across the state.
He said that in February this year, Dubbo experienced "significant rail and hail".
"As a result of these weather events, our customers experienced everything from water ingress, damaged roofs and flooding, and in some cases were displaced from their homes," Mr Callanan said.
He said despite the heightened risk of bushfires from El Nino, "we need to also be ready and prepare for wild weather brought by thunderstorms, damaging wind, hail and tropical cyclones."
NSW SES Assistant Commissioner Sean Kearns said NSW SES responded to more than 24,000 storm related incidents in the last financial year.
"While storms can happen at any time of year, we know there's an increased chance of storms between October and March when NSW sees a higher chance of strong winds and heavy rain which can cause damage to homes and properties," Mr Kearns said.
He said many of the incidents reported in Dubbo were from leaking roofs, missing roof tiles and trees falling onto homes and cars due to heavy winds and rainfall.
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"People can be prepared for storms by cleaning their gutters, downpipes and drains to avoid water overflowing under the eaves and into the roof of their homes," he said.
"You can secure and put away any loose items around your backyard and balcony, to avoid strong wings picking up and throwing around outdoor items such as trampolines and roofing iron which can damage windows, roofs and cars.
"It's important to know your storm risk, have a plan in place, get your home ready, be aware of what you will do if disaster strikes, and look out for one another."
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