Weather News

Power blackouts and flooding as severe weather hits Victoria, with five people left hanging onto trees

Saturday November 13, 2021 - 09:49 AEDT

Emergency services have rescued five people left hanging onto trees after their car was trapped in floodwaters in Victoria's east.

The SES says the group became stuck under the Wuk Wuk Bridge, near Bairnsdale in East Gippsland, after their car submerged.

It comes as major flood warnings remain for the Mitchell, Avon, and Buchan rivers following heavy rains in recent days.

Hundreds of homes in Victoria are without power after a night of heavy rain and strong winds across the state.

The State Emergency Service (SES) received more than 300 calls for assistance in the 24 hours to 5:00pm on Saturday, mostly for fallen trees and damage to buildings. 

There were also more than 40 calls related to flooding, and 14 calls from people needing to be rescued, including from a person whose car was trapped in floodwaters, in the inner-west suburb of Williamstown.

Earlier, three people were rescued from the roof of their car near Stradbroke, in Gippsland, after their vehicle became stuck in rising waters.

SES state duty officer Brad Dalgleish urged people in the region to regularly check weather information. 

"We are asking that people keep up to date with key and local information through the Vic Emergency App, as well as local road closures through the VicRoads App," he said.

Most of the calls for assistance came from the central and eastern parts of the state.

There are more than 500 unplanned power outages across Victoria, including in the Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Ranges, and outer suburban areas in Melbourne's east.

A severe weather warning remains in place for people in East Gippsland, and parts of the West and South Gippsland districts.

The weather bureau is predicting 24-hour rainfall totals of up to 120 millimetres in the Gippsland high country, and up to 70 millimetres across the remainder of Gippsland.

The highest rainfall totals since 9am on Friday were 109 millimetres at Mt Moornapa, 85 millimetres at Balook, and 76 millimetres at Briagolong.

A major flood warning has been issued for the Mitchell River at Bairnsdale.

The Bureau of Meteorology said moderate flooding was expected to develop along the river near Glenaladale from Saturday morning.

Forecaster Paul Lainio said some minor flooding was already happening in the area. 

"The Mitchell River downstream of Glenaldale is where we have minor flooding occurring at the moment, but we're watching the water levels rising and may see moderate flood levels this afternoon, then perhaps major flood levels Saturday evening," he said.

Flood watches and warnings have been issued for many other rivers across central and eastern Victoria.


© ABC 2021

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