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Australian Hunter Valley coal rail network on alert as severe weather approaches

Highlights

Australia's thermal coal powerhouse state of New South Wales has beenissued a severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and is on flood watch,which could impact the region's coal chains.

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A spokesman for the Australian Rail Track Corporation, which manages theHunter Valley coal rail network, said that so far there have been no closuresto the system.

ARTC is monitoring the situation and expecting the heaviest rain to falllater today, he said.

According to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology, or BOM, the Hunter andLower Mid North Coast regions of New South Wales remain covered by a severeweather warning for heavy rainfall following downpours in some pockets of NSWearlier Wednesday.

"Forecasters are closely monitoring the region near Newcastle, whereradar is picking up some very heavy rain along a shear line. Rainfall rateswill vary, depending on thunderstorm activity, local topography and theposition of the coastal trough in relation to these," BOM added.

There is a flood watch for the NSW Central Coast, Newcastle, Lower Hunterand Manning Rivers.

There is expected to be 100mm to 200mm of rain over the warning areaWednesday with similar amounts expected on Thursday.

"Some locations are likely to receive more than 200mm in a 24 hour period," BOM said.

--Nathan Richardson, newsdesk@spglobal.com

--Edited by Norazlina Juma'at, norazlina.jumaat@spglobal.com