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Victorians urged: prepare for unpredictable weather

Published 08/01/2015

Emergency Services are preparing for a tumultuous few days of weather, with the potential of fires in the west of the state and storms in the east.

Bureau of Metereology Senior Forecaster Steven McGibbony said severe thunderstorms with damaging winds, heavy rain and large hail were possible this afternoon and evening with the passage of a cold front across Victoria. This could cause flash flooding.

“The areas most likely areas to be impacted are central and eastern parts, including metropolitan Melbourne. The rain and storms will continue into tomorrow and the weekend,” he said.

“The Bureau has issued weather warnings for thunderstorms and heavy rain which may lead to flash flooding. I urge Victorians to monitor the Bureau's website for the latest information and warnings.

"These storms could lead to minor riverine flooding across northern catchments."

Victoria State Emergency Service’s Deputy Chief Officer of Operations, Tim Wiebusch, said heavy rainfall could pose a particular challenge in fire-affected areas, leading to excessive runoff and land slips.

“VICSES has already responded to more than 1,000 request for assistance after yesterday’s thunderstorms over the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, including two houses damaged badly enough that residents were relocated,” he said.

“If you are travelling this weekend, drive carefully and to conditions. If you are on holidays, be aware of dangerous trees and that streams could rise rapidly. If you are in a managed facility, talk to the operators about local risks and options.”

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said the risk of serious fires in northern Victoria remained – and while rainfall would be welcome in fire-affected areas, storm activity strong winds and lightning only made firefighting more difficult.

“We still have major fires running in the Big Desert, Little Desert and in the Rocklands area near Horsham. Rain in these areas will actually make firefighting efforts more difficult and complex,” Mr Lapsley said.

“What we would ask the of the community over the next couple of days is to stay atuned to more than one source of information and warnings.

If you’re out on the roads or holidaying, know what the weather is doing in your area, and keep across advice from emergency services to stay safe.”


  • Tune in to ABC radio, commercial and designated radio stations or Sky News TV.
  • Download the FireReady App – set up ‘watch zones’ to allow for push notifications for incidents and warnings.
  • Add to your favourites list on your internet browser.
  • Enter the Victorian Bushfire Information Line 1800 240 667 and the Flood and Storm Information Line 1300 842 737 into your phone contacts.
  • Connect with CFA and VICSES Twitter and Facebook accounts.
  • A written plan will help you remember what needs to be done during an emergency. It’s important to prepare your property, but you also need to prepare yourself.