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East Gippsland 'dodged bullet' amid flood threat

Monday June 17, 2013 - 11:14 EST

The State Emergency Service (SES) shut down its incident control centre at Bairnsdale over the weekend, as the threat of flooding eased in south-east Victoria.

After days of heavy rain, rivers across the region were swollen and there were concerns East Gippsland would be hard hit.

However, forecast rain did not eventuate and flood warnings were downgraded.

Up to 100 millimetres was forecast to fall across the region on Friday but it eased off throughout the day.

Heavier rains were recorded in East Gippsland last night but rivers are still below major flood levels.

The SES's Ken Boddinar says emergency services are relieved.

"It's been a wait because we've been watching it come east," he said.

"We have been watching and waiting for it and I think the terminology is we've dodged a bullet and we're grateful for it."

Mr Boddinar says the region is already soaked, so if there is more rain down the track, it may not get off as easily.

"We're always vigilant but Mother Nature will dictate what she'll do but yes if we do get similar falls again the result will be different," he said.

The weather bureau says 316mm of rain fell at Balook, north of Yarram, and about 310mm at Cabbage Tree Creek, east of Orbost.

Police are warning motorists a number of roads remain closed across Gippsland because of flooding and damage from landslides.

The Marlo Road is closed near Orbost, the Swan Reach Road is closed at Mossiface and the Bengworden Road is closed at Clydebank.

A number of other minor road closures are listed on the VicRoads' website.

There is water across the Princes Highway in East Gippsland and on the Monaro Highway north of Cann River.

Water restrictions ease

Meanwhile, water restrictions are being lifted in Korumburra.

Only six weeks ago, residents in and around Korumburra were facing stage three water restrictions but last week's rain means that is now being eased.

Stage two water restrictions will be lifted at midnight tomorrow, to be replaced by permanent water saving measures.

The threat of stage three restrictions sparked calls from the Korumburra Business Association to increase dam capacity in the area, while the State Opposition said the town should be connected to the desalination plant.

South Gippsland Water says it recorded an 80mm boost in its catchments on Wednesday and Thursday last week and its capacity is now above 70 per cent.


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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