SES on alert as high winds and heavy rains move into Victoria
High winds and heavy rainfall may hit parts of Victoria’s west as early as tonight (17 July), Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) has warned.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a low pressure system is expected to intensify south of the Bight tonight and will pass to the southwest of Victoria Thursday night. An associated trough will cross Victoria during Thursday along with a belt of very strong northerly winds.
The highest winds are expected to hit Thursday, and will include a significant risk of thunderstorms.
Widespread rainfall totals of up to 30 mm are forecast for the state for Thursday and Friday, with higher totals of 60 - 90mm expected across the North East ranges. The main rain band will reach the western edge of the North East from early evening on Thursday, before clearing away to the east overnight into Friday. Showers and possible thunderstorms will follow on Friday.
The Bureau have issued a Severe Weather Warning for damaging winds for people in the Wimmera, North Central, North East, South West, Central, West and South Gippsland and East Gippsland forecast districts. Flood Watches are also current for North East Victoria catchments including the Goulburn and Broken Rivers.
Mark Cattell, Victoria SES State Commander, is urging Victorians to take simple precautions and monitor the situation closely.
“Our volunteers and staff are on standby across the state and we are monitoring the situation closely,” he said.
“In the meantime, there are simple precautions the community can take to defend against damage or injury should the worst happen. Flash flooding can happen without warning and become dangerous very quickly, so it’s important to prepare ahead of time and have a plan.
“Simple precautions include checking gutters and downpipes for blockages, securing outdoor furniture and objects and having an emergency plan for your home, family and business.”
“Don’t shelter under a tree during a thunderstorm, and if you can help it don’t park your car under on either- you could be in for a nasty surprise in the morning.”
Motorists are advised to drive to conditions during heavy rainfall and to never drive through floodwater.
People are encouraged to stay informed about the situation by tuning to local emergency broadcasters – including ABC Radio, Sky News and community radio stations – and by visiting ses.vic.gov.au/warnings, twitter.com/vicseswarnings or facebook.com/vicses.
For the latest forecasts and warnings for Victoria go to www.bom.gov.au/vic/warnings