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Victoria weather: Flood warnings remain in place in state's north-east as rainfall eases

Sunday December 3, 2017 - 12:35 EDT
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Damage to the bitumen at the Euroa caravan park. - ABC

Flood warnings remain in place across north-east Victoria, but rainfall rates have eased and many alerts have been downgraded.

In what has been a hectic period for the SES, volunteers have responded to more than 2,700 requests for assistance since the storms began on Friday.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said 900 of those calls were taken after 4:00pm on Saturday.

He said the Government stood ready to provide support to those affected by the floodwaters.

"I think we've had something in the order of 73 homes that have had water in them, only a small number of them have had water above the floorboards, that's up in the north-east," he said.

"We still have concerns for a number of properties — maybe as few as 15 or 20 — that Wangaratta area."

Euroa MP Steph Ryan yesterday said some homes had flooded in that town, and the local caravan park was evacuated.

The floodwaters have quickly receded in the caravan park, although in one area the bitumen has been peeled back like a carpet by the force of the water.

Floodwaters have also receded in the Sevens Creek.

Minor and moderate riverine flood warnings are still in force in many locations, but a severe weather warning was cancelled just after 5:00am.

Authorities have also cancelled prepare-to-evacuate notices that had been issued for residents in Myrtleford and near Porepunkah.

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) senior forecaster Dean Stewart said while the rainy weather was not yet over, the worst of it had passed.

"The good news through most of the state that had quite significant rainfall in the last 24 hours is that the rain rates have eased off," he said.

The SES's David Tucek said some flooding was still expected today.

"The water still needs to move down through the waterways in the systems, so the water can over the coming days move into low-lying areas," he said.

"So people need to be very mindful that they don't drive through flood water, because you never know how deep it is."

The Ovens River at Wangaratta had reached 10.5 metres last night and the weather bureau said it could reach the moderate flood level of 12.4m by Sunday afternoon.

Some roads remain closed around the state because of the flooding, including the Euroa-Shepparton and Bendigo-Murchison roads.

A month's rain for Melbourne

Much of Melbourne experienced relentless rain overnight. At both Moorabbin Airport and Melbourne's Olympic Park, more than 44 millimetres has been recorded since 9:00am on Saturday.

The BOM's James Taylor said the rain took the total to 66mm since Friday.

"That is more than the December monthly average in the first two days of December," he said.

"So, it goes without saying that for Victoria, at least, and a lot of south-eastern Australia, December will be above average, purely because of this event."

The bureau's senior meteorologist Kevin Parkin said while the amount of rain did not meet the levels predicted in some instances, it was still significant.

"In the last 24 hours Melbourne has recorded its highest rainfall in the city since 1992, and certainly a wet day," he said.

"Out in the eastern suburbs we've seen rainfall over the last couple of days in excess of 100mm, so not quite up near the 200mm that was predicted, but certainly within the realms of expectations for this event."

Victoria's Emergency Management Commission Craig Lapsley defended

"The bureau's been very clear this morning that we have reached those figures, we've seen in some places 228mm of rain over the last two or three days, that was exactly what the forecast said," he said.

"One of the challenges for us is the forecast is given to us, we need to be able to inform the Victorian community in the best way we can of the potential and we've done that.

"One of the challenges of weather systems though is the timing of it, the intensity of it, and the location of it."

Rainfall records were broken in some places, including at Echuca, where 123mm was recorded in the 24 hours to 9:00am yesterday — the most rain in a one-day period in 159 years.

The BOM said more heavy falls expected in the eastern Victoria this week.


© ABC 2017

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