MEDIA RELEASE: Windy, wet and cold lockdown weekend ahead for Victorians

MEDIA RELEASE: Windy, wet and cold lockdown weekend ahead for Victorians

23/07/2021, 4:51 PM

The Victoria State Emergency (VICSES) and Life Saving Victoria (LSV) are urging Victorians to stay safe, be vigilant and practice common sense as wintery conditions are on the forecast this weekend, including significantly higher than usual sea levels with a combined storm surge for the Victorian coast.

As a cold front passes through the state over the weekend, VICSES volunteers across the state are once again preparing and planning for the increase in weather conditions and the impact it may bring.

Winds are expected to increase from Saturday morning, with showers and storms expected for much of the state until Sunday night.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds in parts of the State tomorrow. Winds are expected to average 50-60km/h in the warning area, with peak gusts around 90km/h, although gusts may reach 100km/h across the Alpine and Grampians peaks.

During the early hours of Sunday morning there is also a risk of wind gusts to around 100km/h through the Melbourne area.   

Currently, strong west to south-westerly winds and a west-south-westerly swell of six to eight metres are expected along the southwest coast very early on Sunday morning, however this may be amplified at irregular intervals.

Long-period swells are forecast during this time, which could result in the intermittent arrival of unexpectedly large and deceptively powerful waves which may surprise fishers, boaters or beachgoers.

As the lockdown continues, VICSES and LSV are asking communities to avoid areas that have been recently affected by storms, and to follow Chief Health Officer restrictions, including the 5km radius limit, and limiting outdoor exposure as the cold front passes through the state.

The forecast of wet and windy weather on Saturday into Sunday, will add to the already significant risk of trees falling without warning.

Ensure you consider your need to travel and watch out for trees when walking or hiking as part of your two-hour limit exercise, as recent wet and windy weather can destabilise 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.

Call 132 500 for emergency assistance from VICSES.

Quotes attributable to State Agency Commander, David Baker

“With more damaging winds on the forecast, now is the time to prepare. Ensure you secure loose items such as umbrellas and trampolines tonight and remove outdoor furniture from balconies”.

“With possible showers expected, and Minor Flood Warnings already in place in parts of the state, remember to never drive through flood water. It can take only 15cms of water for a small car to float.”

“Please remain vigilant to the further risk of falling trees and avoid unnecessary road travel during the periods of high winds.”

Quotes attributable to Life Saving Victoria General Manager Liam Krige:

“We’re urging anyone in the affected areas to seriously consider if you need to be on, in or near the ocean this weekend, and to make sure you take the appropriate safety precautions if you do.”

“This includes checking the conditions before you leave, continuing to monitor them while you’re out, and never turning your back on the sea. Boaters and rock fishers should also wear grippy shoes and a lifejacket, which can buy you time to survive until help arrives in an emergency.”

“With such windy conditions and powerful waves forecast, this message goes to people planning on being near the ocean’s edge, too. Unintentional entry to water attributed to half of all drownings over the past decade, while cold water shock further increases a person’s risk of drowning during the cooler months.”

“This Sunday is the inaugural World Drowning Prevention Day, and the last thing we want to see is people being unnecessarily hurt or killed in Victorian waters.”