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Reminder: Free sausage sizzle and virtual reality demonstration Saturday 18 June

How did this East Coast Low event compare?

Add your storm photos to our online interactive map


Reminder: Free sausage sizzle and virtual reality demonstration postponed to Saturday 18 June, 10am - 2pm, Pelican Foreshore

Find out how sea level rise may affect you

Join Council staff at Pelican foreshore for a free sausage sizzle any time between 10am - 2pm on Saturday 18 June.

  • Test out our virtual reality headset to see what sea level rise may look like
  • View maps showing the extent of projected future flooding and sea level rise
  • Share your suggestions to help prepare a Local Adaptation Plan for Pelican and Blacksmiths

If inclement weather, the event will take place in the foyer of the Swansea Belmont Surf Club, Ungala Rd, Blacksmiths. Visit for updates.


How did this East Coast Low event compare?

Photo: Awabakal Street Blacksmiths Beach 4WD access was damaged in the recent storm event.

Recent strong winds, heavy rain and large swells have caused significant damage to community assets along the Lake Macquarie coastline, and erosion has exposed debris that has the potential to cause injury. Council officers have been assessing the situation.

As a result of the latest East Coast Low event, the lake level reached around 0.65m AHD on Sunday 5 June at 11pm (see box below - What does AHD mean?). This is equivalent to a 1 in 2 year lake flood (see box below - Flood terminology).

How does this compare to previous events?

In April 2015, we experienced close to a 1 in 15 year lake flood, with the lake reaching 1m AHD. This gave a good indication of where the future lake level will be permanently by the end of the century as a result of ongoing sea level rise, and why Council is working with the community now to plan for the future.

In the 'Pasha Bulker storm' of June 2007, the lake reached around 1.1m AHD, equivalent to a 1 in 35 year lake flood.

For comparison, the City's flood study indicates a 1 in 100 year lake flood will reach 1.5m AHD. This is considered a rare but major flood event.

The real force of the most recent event was felt on the coast, with the storm surge rivaling the storm of 1974 which stranded the Sygna on Stockton beach. The highest water level recorded in the Swansea Channel was around 1.3m AHD on Sunday 5 June at 7.45pm. Fortunately, this most recent event was short-lived compared to the Sygna event, during which ocean conditions lasted nearly a week.

Photo: Clara Street, Belmont South, April 2015.

Do you live in Pelican and Blacksmiths and have a photo of water levels or storm damage as a result of the most recent storm event?

Help us build our photographic records.

Share your photo on our online map or email them to and we'll upload them for you.

What does AHD mean?

AHD stand for Australian Height Datum. It is a standard Australia-wide reference point for measuring height.

The zero point (0.0 metres AHD) is based on the Australian average sea level in 1966-68, so 1.0 metre AHD is approximately the same as 1.0 metre above average sea level at that time.

The lake currently has an average still water level of 0.1m AHD.

Flood terminology

You may often see the term "1 in 100 year flood" or "1 in 20 year flood" and so on. This is simply a way of expressing the severity of a flood and how often a flood may likely occur.

For example, a 1 in 100 year flood is a major but infrequent event that has a 1% chance of occurring in any given year. It does not mean a major flood will only happen once every 100 years. Some parts of Australia have received more than one 1% flood in a single decade. Similarly, a 1 in 20 year flood has a 5% chance of occurring in any given year, a 1 in 50 year flood has a 2% chance of occurring in any given year, and so on.


Get involved and have your say

Pelican and Blacksmiths Local Adaptation Planning

Marks Point and Belmont South Local Adaptation Plan