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Warning for Gippsland drivers as heavy rainfall causes landslides

Saturday June 15, 2013 - 10:15 EST
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Emergency services rescued a man trapped in floodwater in near the Thomson Dam in central Gippsland yesterday. - ABC

The State Emergency Service has warned landslides have made roads dangerous after heavy rainfall caused flooding across east Gippsland in Victoria.

Between 150 and 200 millimetres of rain has fallen across the Cann, La Trobe and Thompson river catchments since Thursday.

Victoria State Emergency Service spokesman Lachlan Quick says a number of landslips have been reported across Gippsland, causing dangerous road conditions.

"We are aware though that there's been a number of landslips reported to the VicRoads website so we've got some concerns for the road users out across Gippsland over the next couple of days," he said.

"The rain will continue to fall, it will be very dangerous on the roads and there will probably likely be more landslips and road closures.

"It's fairly widespread. There's been pockets of Gippsland, as many of the listeners would have heard, that have had 180 or 200 millimetres of rain in the last few days so that just increases the risk of those landslips right across the region."

A moderate flood warning remains in place for the La Trobe and Cann rivers and there are minor warnings for numerous other systems.

But Mr Quick says the main danger period has passed.

"The steady rainfall rates from that heavy rain has actually made it a whole lot easier for that water to make its way through the rivers and creeks and out to sea," he said.

"If it happened in a shorter period of time, I'm pretty sure we'd be up and running for another week or so.

"It is a very wet start to June. I think we've reached the average in a number of places ... I would probably expect to see more this month."

Yesterday, emergency services rescued a man trapped in floodwater in Central Gippsland.

The man and his two dogs were trapped on the roof of a four wheel drive in dense bushland near the Thomson Dam, in central Gippsland.

It is believed the vehicle stalled as it drove through water around 1.5 metres deep.

The air rescue wing was called to the scene but could not access the area because of poor visibility.

Local police and State Emergency Services (SES) made several attempts to rescue the man.

Eventually a Helimed helicopter was brought in and winched the man to safety.

Earlier this week police warned they would prosecute anyone who drove through floodwaters.


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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