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Victoria hit by flash flooding, thunderstorms after overnight hail in Melbourne

Tuesday January 21, 2020 - 06:06 EDT
ABC image
There has been heavy rain at Stratford outside of Sale, with this property flooding. - ABC

Melbourne has been hit by a month's worth of rain in less than 24 hours after severe thunderstorms led to flash flooding in parts of the city.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) on Monday issued a series of warnings for severe weather and thunderstorms, which delivered widespread rainfall.

Several areas around the state recorded more than 100 millimetres of rain, including 136mm at Mount Moornapa, west of Bairnsdale.

Fire-affected areas in Gippsland were hit with between 20mm and 60mm of rain, and up to 40mm was recorded in the state's north-east.

Flash flooding closes roads

On Monday night, the SES reported receiving more than 1,800 requests for assistance in the previous 24 hours.

While Melbourne did not get a repeat of Sunday's hail storm, a series of slow-moving thunderstorms brought heavy rain to the central and eastern metropolitan areas over the afternoon and caused some serious headaches for commuters heading home after work.

VicTraffic reported just after 4:00pm that all eastbound lanes of the Princes Highway were closed at Cardinia Road, Pakenham, due to flooding.

Meanwhile, Yarra Trams reported flooding in various locations in the city and buses were brought in to replace trains on the Sandringham line due to flooding across the tracks at North Brighton.

The rain also played havoc at the Australian Open with a number of matches being rescheduled.

Weather at its 'weirdest'

In Brewster, west of Ballarat, farmer Ian Mathews told the ABC on Monday he had received 205mm of rain overnight, after losing 130 acres of pasture to fire on Wednesday.

"It's just unbelievable, it was that heavy and intense," he said of the rain.

"From fire to floods in a matter of four or five days, but on the whole the rain, that much of it, has been a bit of a nuisance, but it hasn't done that much damage," he said.

Carley Hodge is a farmer in Stratford, which has been affected by drought. She said couldn't be happier with the heavy rain that started falling Sunday night.

"I have never slept so well with the rain on the roof, I mean there is nothing like rain to put you to sleep, especially after this long," she said.

Stratford on the River Tourist Park owner Shaun Perrett said he was shocked the region was finally getting rain after experiencing dry conditions for so long.

"The river is coming up a little way but probably because it has had no rain forever there is a whole lot of stuff washing down as well," he said.

That included bits of trees and debris.

Mr Perrett said he had been running around clearing drains, but there had no been any serious issues with the downpour.

"It is a bit of a relief, we are just hoping they are getting a bit of rain further east."

Wednesday to see increased fire risk

Storms will clear today, bringing sunshine and clear skies.

But the fire danger is expected to rise to severe and extreme in the north-west, north, and Wimmera from tomorrow afternoon when temperatures hit about 38 degrees Celsius.

Raised dust could also hit the north-west, and the fire danger is forecast to be very high for the rest of the state.

Melbourne temperatures will reach about 31C.

The current forecast for Australia Day weekend is for a sunny three days.

Hail hits Melbourne

Flash flooding and golf ball-sized hail destroyed skylights and roofs in Melbourne on Sunday.

Eastern suburbs including Glen Iris, Malvern, Warrandyte and Templestowe were hit the hardest.

The majority of the calls concerned flooding and roof damage caused by hail smashing roof tiles and skylights.

All fires in the state remain at advice level.



© ABC 2020

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