Melbourne Cup Day deluge causes flash flooding and vehicle rescues across city
The intersection of Kings Way and City Road, in South Melbourne, after this morning’s deluge. (Twitter: Michael Espana-McCartney)
Victoria’s State Emergency Service (SES) has performed more than a dozen rescues, as a deluge dumped more rain on Melbourne in two hours than it received in the previous two months.
Jess Longbottom tweets: It’s not just #Flemington getting soaked today. Parts of Southbank in inner #Melbourne have flooded after heavy rain this morning, and more wet weather is still set to come
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said the city received a torrent of 35mm from just after 10:00am.
Another 4.4mm also fell before just before 9:00am, when the rain gauges are reset.
The storms prompted 400 calls for assistance to the SES from across the city, with the north-western suburbs suffering some of the worst conditions.
SES crews rescued 14 people from vehicles trapped in floodwater.
The rain also affected conditions at Flemington Racecourse, where the track was downgraded to a rating of eight out of ten, which is in the “heavy” range.
Yesterday, Melbourne Cup race organisers were being urged to “turn the taps on” by trainer Nick Williams in order to improve what he described as a “ridiculously firm” track.
Cup racegoers were also affected as many were forced to walk 20 minutes through the rain to get to the racecourse after one of the platforms at Flemington Racecourse Station flooded.
The downpour also caused temporary cancellations to the Sandringham and Alamein train lines.
The heaviest rain came in the hour from 10:30am to 11:30am, when the rain gauge swelled from 8.8mm to 29.2mm.
The BOM said isolated showers would persist in Melbourne during the afternoon.
It said flash flooding is a possibility in north-east Victoria and South Gippsland in the coming hours, as the rainband moves across state.
The tracks at Flemington Racecourse station were flooded, causing delays for racegoers. (ABC News: Danielle Bonica)