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Heavens open in the CBD, albeit for a short time

Thursday July 18, 2013 - 18:49 EST
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Strong winds in the Melbourne beach suburb of St Kilda. - ABC

Strong winds and rain lashed Melbourne this afternoon, after a warm July start to the day.

The heavens opened at around 3.30 in the CBD.

It rained for about an hour-and-a half, with Melbourne receiving 6.8mm of rain.

The highest rainfall was in the outer northern suburb of Craigieburn.

A total of 20mms fell there.

The rain has yet to reach the far eastern part of the State.

But a band of rain is expected to move tonight and clear on Friday morning.

The highest rainfall recorded since 9:00am in country Victoria was at Mangalore, in north central Victoria.

Across the State, the strongest wind gusts at 120kms an hour were in the Alpine region and the Grampians.

In Melbourne winds gusted over 100kms an hour.

It was also the warmest July day since records began in 1855.

The temperature climbed to 23.3 degrees this afternoon.

The previous July record was 23.1 degrees in 1975.

State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers responded to more than 250 calls for help across the State.

Most of the calls were about fallen trees in the Melbourne metropolitan area.

Lachlan Quick of the SES says calls are still coming in.

"The wind will probably take most of tonight and tomorrow to move out of the State and then I think by Saturday we get a very cold snap, so probably a busy overnight for us here and certainly for the volunteers," he said.

He says it has been a busy afternoon.

"We've seen probably 130 jobs in the metro area," he said.

"A couple of the hotspots are Eltham, Moorabbin and certainly Waverley, Northcote as well."

Mr Lachlan says one of the most serious incidents was in the suburb of Reservoir.

"At the peak of those gusts, it looks as though a garage roof had been torn completely off the garage and actually picked up and tossed down the street, severing a couple of power lines as it went before landing in a neighbour's yard," he said.

"Incidents like that happen a little too often for our liking and certainly can pose a pretty significant danger to the community."


© ABC 2013

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