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SES receives more than 600 calls for help after Victoria hit by flash flooding

Sunday February 16, 2020 - 00:09 EDT
ABC licensed image
A storm gathered over the Baw Baw Shire West Gippsland on Friday. - ABC licensed

More rain was forecast to hit Victoria's fire-affected areas after thunderstorms caused flash flooding across the state on Friday night.

The State Emergency Service (SES) received 606 calls for help in the 24 hours to 9:30am on Saturday after heavy rain hit Victoria.

SES spokesman Jamie Devenish said the hardest-hit areas were outer south-east and eastern suburbs in Melbourne and areas near West Gippsland.

"Volunteers in Narre Warren, Maroondah, Warragul and Morwell were the busiest," he said.

But the clean up will be short lived.

A severe thunderstorm warning for heavy rainfall in East and South Gippsland, and Corryong, Bright, Falls Creek, Mount Hotham, Mount Buller and Omeo was issued at 3:00pm.

The thunderstorms are likely to lead to flash flooding over the next several hours which could lead to waterlogged trees falling down.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecast Dean Stewart said intense storms developed on Friday afternoon throughout central and eastern Victoria.

"There were some isolated storms out west but the focus was central and eastern areas," he said.

The suburbs that received the heaviest rain were Warburton with 51 millimetres, Officer with 47mm, Cardinia 66mm, Heathmont 42mm, and Ringwood 43mm.

Melbourne CBD only received about 4mm.

Mr Stewart said the storms died off in the evening but there was the potential for more heavy rain concentrated in the eastern ranges, parts of Gippsland and the state's north-east.

"It would nice to focus that rain over the fires but thunderstorms are hit-and-miss," he said.

An SES spokeswoman said there were two significant fires burning across the state, both located in East Gippsland.

More than 1.5 million hectares of land has burnt in Victoria since the fire season began and more than 400 residential structures have been destroyed or damaged.

Melbourne's high for Saturday was 21 degrees Celsius with showers easing this evening.

"There's a slight chance for thunderstorm through the south-eastern suburbs but they should move off quickly," Mr Stewart said.

The air will remain humid into next week with the potential for storms to return on Tuesday, when a low-pressure trough moves over the state.



© ABC 2020

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