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Victoria weather: Flash floods hit Melbourne as storm moves across Victoria

Friday December 1, 2017 - 23:33 EDT
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Heavy rainfall expected over Victoria - ABC

Victorians have been told to brace for more rain overnight, particularly in the north-east, after parts of Melbourne experienced flash flooding from heavy thunderstorms which are moving across the state.



Victoria's Emergency Management Commissioner, Craig Lapsley, said about 30 millimetres of rain had fallen in Melbourne, about half the December average in one day.

Mr Lapsley said more rain was forecast in Melbourne overnight, with another 30-40mm expected.

"I suppose many people would say it hasn't been consistent rain hour-upon-hour, but it has been rain that has … in some cases been very isolated, very direct, significant downfalls," he said.

He said Victorians should remain prepared for rain in the hours and days ahead.

Asked if the worst was still to come, Mr Lapsley said: "absolutely."

"This isn't an event that is just Friday alone, it will reach Friday night, Saturday," he said.

"In particular the forecast for rain on Saturday is in the hundreds of millimetres and could go as far as 200 millimetres in the north-east.

"That's the upper end, but even if it doesn't reach that, that is significant rain.

"Floods come and go and sometimes can be fast-moving water or can be slow. So some of the rain we won't see in some communities until maybe Sunday or Monday."





A warning was issued for areas in Melbourne's south as the Elster Creek/Elwood Canal threatened to flood after the heavy rainfall, but water levels later receded.

Parts of Melbourne's north, including Pascoe Vale, saw flash flooding on Friday.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster James Taylor said very intense rainfall had passed through Heathmont in the eastern suburbs, where they received 21mm in 30 minutes.

Some trains were affected, with delays on the Hurstbridge and Frankston lines after flooding at Ivanhoe station, and areas near Highett, Mordialloc and Aspendale.

The Melbourne to Albury line was closed as a precaution and roads were closed around the state.

Several lanes were flooded on both the Monash Freeway, outbound at High Street Road, and the Ring Road between Dalton and Plenty roads.

The lanes have since been reopened, but authorities have warned drivers there is a chance the roads could flood again.

The SES had received 800 calls for assistance at 4:00pm on Friday.



Victorians urged to heed warnings

The Victorian SES issued prepare to evacuate warnings on Friday evening at 9.30pm and 10.19pm for low-lying areas of Myrtleford and Merriang on the Ovens River, and a low-lying area near Harris Lane and Wallace Drive on the Buckland River near Porepunkah, north-eastern Victoria.

The SES says flooding above floor level of a single story home will occur and residents may lose services including power, water, sewerage and telephones.

The SES warned evacuating too late or choosing to remain in homes is dangerous and may put lives at risk.

Premier Daniel Andrews said it was important Victorians were not complacent after the first dump of rain.

"People need to be vigilant, they need to take these warnings seriously," he said.

"If you don't need to be on the roads please stay off the road network.

"Don't ever drive into floodwaters.

"Some common sense, looking out for each other, I know that Victorians will get through this very difficult period."



The BOM said the state's north-east ranges were now the "greatest area of concern" with a large system of tropical moisture moving south.

It stressed there was not one but several complex weather systems, and the forecast could change depending on where they move.

Mr Lapsley said the Ovens and King rivers and Wangaratta area in the state's north-east were at most risk of flooding.

Flash flooding and riverine flooding right across the state remains a major concern, he said.

Mr Taylor said Mount Buffalo had recorded 46 millimetres of rain over a three-hour period.

Mr Lapsley said 30-40mm of rain had fallen in Stawell, in Victoria's south-west, earlier on Friday.



Elwood residents prepare for floods

Some residents living near Elwood Canal were preparing for floods after warnings were issued.



Ros Collins has lived on Broadway in Elwood for the past 30 years and this afternoon was sandbagging her home with the help of family members.

She is worried about possible floodwaters because her house is low-lying.

"The last time we put a little levy of bricks and we built a little wall, but this time we're going to do it properly with sandbags," she said.

She said she was expecting a "torrent" of water to come rushing down her footpath.

"The drains can't cope with it. I wonder whether my car will float away," she said.



Earlier on Friday Mr Lapsley said people needed to be prepared for the storms, but urged caution after 12 men over the age of 50 needed medical treatment after falling from roofs while trying to clear gutters.

"[You have to ask yourself] does your backyard handle a lot of rain? Does my neighbour's backyard handle a lot of rain?" he told ABC Radio Melbourne.

"That's going to be the challenge, because we haven't seen that amount of rain for a long time."

A number of weekend events and sports have already been cancelled in anticipation of the bad weather.

There are a number of warnings in place, including a marine wind warning, a severe weather warning for heavy rainfall for the entire state, warnings for farmers and a statewide flood watch.


- ABC

© ABC 2017

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