Provider: SBS News
Categories: World & Regional

More rain forecast for flooded Vic region

The wild weather in Victoria that has claimed one life and put two volunteers in hospital isn’t over yet.About 120,000 homes in the state were still without power on Friday as the Bureau of Meteorology warned more rain was on the way for the Gippsland region.While the forecast 10-20mm of expected rainfall will be nothing like the 270ml deluge the region has already endured, it will affect catchments that are already flooding.A strong wind warning was also issued on Friday for Gippsland Lakes and the eastern and central Gippsland coasts.There’s a flood warning for the South Gippsland Highway between Sale and Longford, but a flood evacuation warning for Traralgon Creek has been lifted.Severe weather warnings for most of the state were lifted on Thursday afternoon.”There’s a risk of further rainfall, which may lead to further (water) rises in the area,” SES agency commander Jackson Bell said of the Gippsland region.”We’re watching that pretty intently over the next 24 hours.”SES Victoria had 6000 calls for help from Wednesday night – the busiest 24-hour period in its history.Acting Premier James Merlino thanked the SES, noting there had been 7400 calls for help in the last 48 hours.”We know it is not over yet,” Mr Merlino said on Friday.”It was quite extraordinary leaving home and driving through the Dandenongs to work this morning, having a few different routes to go through to get off the mountain – massive trees across homes, across the roads.”Mr Bell said the SES was being kept busy with cleanup operations.Apart from the Gippsland area, Mr Bell said people were still without power in Trentham, eastern metropolitan Melbourne, the Yarra Ranges and the Dandenongs after high winds tore through those areas.”Overnight we’ve tried to (consolidate) … with much work done in preparation for another big day ahead,” he said.A man was found dead in his submerged car at the coastal Gippsland town of Woodside on Thursday afternoon.Those already in a safe place in Gippsland are urged to stay put for the next 24 to 48 hours when most of the flooding is expected to move through.Authorities are pleading with locals not to drive through floodwaters.Two SES members were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries after separate tree-related incidents.Meanwhile, Sydney shivered through its coldest day in 25 years on Thursday as the cold front affected much of the eastern seaboard.The cold air mass that blew in from Antarctica, sent temperatures plummeting and caused widespread snowfalls all the way up to the Queensland border.