People have been urged to take care with flash flooding in parts of Gippsland following a deluge of more than 150 millimetres of rain, with isolated reports of more than 200 millimetres.
- Farmers welcome heavy rain in Gippsland after a long drought
- Emergency crews are warning people to be careful as flash flooding hits part of the region
- Thousands of properties in Mallacoota are without power
Flash flooding is occurring in Mallacoota, Yarram, and Won Wron where the highest totals have been recorded.
In Yarram, the secondary college is closed due to flooding and the water authority is asking residents not to use dishwashers or washing machines today, to reduce the amount of greywater entering the system.
Yarram Secondary College principal Brett Pedlow said the school had closed due to flash flooding, with stormwater encroaching on classrooms from ceiling leakages and flooded grounds.
“Numerous staff couldn’t make it on site, and students, so we had no other choice but to close the school for the day,” he said.
“My wife actually said to me just before, ‘I think they’ll be some students rejoicing around town’.
About 2,500 homes have been without power across eastern Victoria, including most residents in the remote town of Mallacoota, after a tree fell on the line in the area about 11:00pm last night during strong winds.
Mallacoota’s power was out for about 15 hours with AusNet restoring power after 2:00pm on Wednesday.
Emergency authorities busy in eastern Victoria
A minor flood warning has been issued for the Snowy River and a flood watch in place for the rest of Gippsland.
SES regional manager Anthony McLean said flash flooding was more likely in areas that had experienced bushfires.
“At Orbost, they were trying to remove one tree and two others came down very close to them.
“We really do encourage people to take warning and be careful.”
Heaviest rain in 20 years
Lisa Harrison farms at Giffard, between Sale and Yarram, and has received 130mm of rain since 4:00am Tuesday.
It was the first time in 20 years the farm received more than 100mm in a 24-hour period.
“Most of the paddocks have a nice sheen of water over them now,” Mrs Harrison said.
“Our very seasonal creek is running for the first time in many years and that has created a lot of runoff.
The Harrisons will no longer have to send cattle away on agistment and can also stop handfeeding their sheep.
“We’ll be able to resow some pasture, which we were getting to slowly after the drought of the last few years.”
Dairy farms underwater
The McAlpine family’s dairy farm at Woodside has now measured 180mm of rain from the latest system.
Much of the property is underwater and cattle have been moved to higher ground near the dairy.
Darcy McAlpine said milking was delayed for an hour and a half this morning as three pumps had to be set up to drain water from the dairy shed.
“Fortunately we’ve got a little bit of dry land close to the dairy and good access tracks to it, so we’ve got the cows up as high as we can where they’re not having to stay in water. We’re carting feed to them.”
At Carrajung, on the edge of the Strzelecki Ranges, Brendon Bradazon reported more than 200mm at his property since early yesterday morning, accompanied by power outages.
“Yeah she’s pretty wet,” he said.