Wild Melbourne weather prompts calls for help as Victoria cleans up after rain and floods


December 15, 2018 10:59:14

Victoria’s State Emergency Service has been dealing with almost 700 calls for help after heavy rain caused flash flooding and building damage yesterday — and authorities warn parts of the state might see more of the same today.

Key points:

  • The SES said it had 400 calls in four hours
  • Twenty-five people were rescued from floodwaters
  • The weather bureau says more flash flooding is possible in Melbourne

Last night’s deluge hit Melbourne’s inner-east hardest, flooding roads and damaging buildings, including the police station in the suburb of Richmond.

SES state duty officer Chris Brockwell said the organisation received 250 reports of building damage after the storm.

He said 25 people had been rescued after becoming trapped in floodwaters.

More heavy rain this morning has resulted in almost 100 calls for assistance in Gisborne and Darley, north-west of Melbourne, and Prahran and Toorak in city’s inner south-east.

“We received in excess of 400 requests within the Melbourne metro area between 4:30pm and 8:30pm [on Friday], when the metro area received 34 millimetres of rain in 15 minutes,” he said.

“If we do get more heavy rain [on Saturday], the ground’s already wet, so the water won’t have anywhere to go, so it’s likely that flash flooding could still occur today.”

A weather warning issued at 10:00am (AEDT) said severe thunderstorms could cause flash flooding in locations including Warrnambool, Bendigo, Shepparton, Maryborough, Kyneton and Ballarat.

The weather bureau’s Dean Stewart said more flash flooding was also possible in Melbourne today.

“The atmosphere is still very humid and unstable so there’s still the risk of some further showers and thunderstorms developing over the Melbourne area this morning, and the risk of some heavy downpours again with any storms that do develop,” he said.

Friday’s downpour was so severe, emergency services issued a warning to people in the CBD and inner-east of the city to stay indoors.

The rainfall has also prompted warnings not to swim at bayside beaches, after the heavy rains flushed litter, animal waste and chemicals into Port Phillip Bay.

All bay beaches are likely to have poor water quality for the next week as a result of the rainfall, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) said.

“We know most people aren’t keen for a swim while it’s cold and raining, but poor water quality can persist for many days after the rain event when the weather may have improved,” the EPA’s Alison Kemp said in a statement.

The clean-up is also continuing in parts of regional Victoria, including Birchip in the state’s north-west, and Tarrawingee and Wangaratta in the north-east.

At Birchip, 20 homes were flooded on Thursday after 130mm came down in a 24-hour period.














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