MEDIA RELEASE: Rain event over Gippsland has VICSES volunteers ready to respond

MEDIA RELEASE: Rain event over Gippsland has VICSES volunteers ready to respond

9/12/21, 12:00 am

As La Niña weather patterns continue to develop, volunteers from the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) remain well prepared and ready to assist with incoming calls for help across the Gippsland region.

A surface trough extends into eastern Victoria tomorrow, bringing about increased rain activity. The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a Flood Watch for the majority of Gippsland catchments, with flooding expected across Gippsland from Thursday evening with highest risk in East Gippsland.

As catchments in Gippsland are already wet, major flooding is likely for Bemm, Cann, Genoa and Snowy Rivers. Moderate flooding is possible for Tambo and Mitchell Rivers. Minor flooding is likely across other parts of Gippsland.

The Bureau of Meteorology has also issued a Severe Weather Warning for Heavy Rainfall, potentially leading to flash flooding, for East Gippsland.

VICSES volunteers across East Gippsland are asking community members to not drive through floodwaters as rain continues to pass through the state.

Time and time again our volunteers are dispatched to assist with stranded motorists driving through floodwaters, removing critical response crews away from impacted communities who might really need them. It’s important to think about what you are doing, and make sensible, safe decisions.

People can check their Local Flood Guide on the SES website (ses.vic.gov.au) to understand local warnings and how to best prepare.

Ensure you consider your need to travel and watch out for dangerous trees as recent wet and windy weather may have destabilised trees or branches, making them more likely to fall.

Ensure to download the VicEmergency app for warning and advice messaging, and check the VicTraffic mobile app or website before travelling for updates on road closures, hazards and to consider alternative journeys.

A reminder if you need VICSES emergency assistance, ring 132 500 or Triple-zero (000) in a life-threatening emergency.

For more information on this weather event, and for a detailed explanation on potential flooding impacts, watch this Video News Release with Miriam Bradbury, Duty Forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology.

Quotes attributable to Regional Agency commander, Anthony McLean:

“It’s so critical to never drive through floodwater. It can take just 15cm of water for a small car to float, and may be the last decision you make”.

“As this severe weather event moves through East Gippsland, ensure you keep up to date with relevant emergency information by visiting the VicEmergency website, or by downloading the VicEmergency app”.