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Beware of water over roads

Published 14/06/2013

Motorists across Victoria – and especially in Gippsland – are advised to drive safely this weekend and beware of water lying over roads.

Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers and staff have been on high alert since an East Coast Low moved in on Wednesday and settled over Gippsland, bringing heavy rain with it.

With large volumes of water still moving through the state’s rivers and more rain expected in east Gippsland, Victoria SES State Commander Wayne Roberts warned motorists to drive sensibly.

“There will be a lot of water over roads out there this weekend. It’s almost impossible to tell how deep floodwater is and at night it can be almost impossible to see it at all,” he said.

“Never, ever drive through floodwater. It’s extremely dangerous and you could lose your vehicle or your life.”

Total Gippsland rainfall has exceeded 150mm since Wednesday.

Victoria SES volunteers worked with police rescuers to save a man who was stranded on the roof of his vehicle in the Thomson River this afternoon. He was ultimately winched to safety via helicopter.

A Moderate Flood Warning remains current for the Thomson river.

Residents living along Traralgon Creek were advised they could safely return home at 10.30am this morning after water levels peaked lower than feared.

Residents of between 60-100 at-risk properties were advised to evacuate at 10.30pm last night as a precaution amid forecasts the Creek could reach major flood levels at 9am, and affect roads even earlier.

About 80 houses were doorknocked; six people chose to leave with others having already left of their own accord.

The creek ultimately peaked at a moderate flood level of 4.3 metres at 5.10am and has been falling steadily since.

Victoria SES remains on standby heading into the weekend, with Gippsland a particular point of focus. A Severe Weather Warning remains current for the North East, West and South Gippsland and East Gippsland forecast districts, with heavy rain and damaging winds possible.

Residents are advised to stay informed about their local situation by visiting www.ses.vic.gov.au/warnings or tuning to their local Emergency Broadcaster. Emergency information is also available via the Victoria SES Information Line on 1300 842 737.