MEDIA RELEASE: A wet and wintry end to the week
MEDIA RELEASE: A wet and wintry end to the week
As the Bureau of Metrology forecasts heavy rain to move through the State today and into Friday night, Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) volunteers remain ready and prepared to assist at risk communities.
With the wet weather to move through Gippsland. the North East, and Central parts of the State, we’re asking Victorians to remain vigilant, practice common sense, and to stay safe as volunteers are once again preparing and planning for the increase in weather conditions and its potential impacts.
Already in the last 24 hours (To 12:00pm Thursday), VICSES volunteers have received more than 100 calls for assistance across the state.
Of those calls, 58 are for fallen trees, over 36 for building damage and 9 in relation to flooding.
Heavy rain is expected later tonight and into tomorrow, for Gippsland, the North East and Central parts of the state which may lead to further impacts, especially in areas prone to storm activity or areas previously effected by riverine flooding.
Currently, a Flood Watch has been issued for Gippsland, parts of the North East, Central Victoria and the Otway Coast, with a Severe Weather Warning also for heavy rainfall leading to potential flash flooding for people living in East Gippsland, West and South Gippsland and parts of the North East districts.
The Bureau of Meteorology has also issued a second Severe Weather Warning, in place for damaging winds for people living in the Central and North Central districts.
With heavy rain on the forecast, it’s vital for community members to remain alert, and remember to never drive through floodwater. It doesn’t take much for a vehicle to become unstable, lose traction or wash away. Driving through flood waters may be the last decision you make.
Now is the time to prepare, residents should take the time now to clean your gutters, downpipes and storm water drains to ensure they are not blocked.
Ensure to check that loose items such as outdoor furniture, umbrellas and trampolines are safely secured well before the storm arrives, and park your car undercover and away from trees.
Ensure you consider your need to travel as this weather passes. VICSES is asking communities to avoid areas that have been recently affected by storms, as the forecast of wet and windy weather can add to the already significant risk of trees falling without warning.
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.
Remember to call 132 500 for emergency assistance from VICSES, and dial Triple Zero (000) for any life threatening emergencies.
Quotes attributable to VICSES Chief Officer, Operation, Tim Wiebusch:
“If you don’t need to be outside, don’t be outside. If you’re on the road take all necessary care, drive to conditions, beware of trees; if you need our assistance call 132500; if it’s life-threatening call Triple Zero.”
“Never enter floodwater. Remember, it can take just 15cm of floodwater for a small car to float, or lose traction”.
“Please keep up to date with relevant emergency information by visiting the VicEmergency website, or by downloading the VicEmergency app. And ensure to call 132 500 for any VICSES assistance required, if you can’t get through, keep trying as the lines will be busy”.
“There may also be gusty south-easterly winds, particularly across the southern and mountain areas of Victoria. For Victoria, this is an unusual wind direction and, in combination with the wet ground, more likely to bring down trees and powerlines, as well as cause minor property damage, we ask communities to remain vigilant to this”.
Quotes attributable to the Bureau of Meteorology's Hazard Preparedness and Response Victoria Manager Diana Eadie:
“We are forecasting heavy rain and storms to develop in the north from tonight and set in across much of the state on Friday, before gradually moving to eastern Victoria on Saturday."
“Some parts of the state, such as Gippsland and the central north, may see significant falls”.
“In particular, some areas could have daily rainfall totals of around 60 millimetres on Friday and Saturday, with even heavier rainfall in some locations”.
“Heavy rain may fall over river catchments that are already quite wet particularly in the northeast of the state and in Gippsland, increasing the risk of flooding”.
“While the rainfall will decrease on Sunday, flooding is likely to remain a risk, along with windy and cool conditions and snow over the Alps”.
“That's why we're warning people early to be prepared for this severe weather system. We want people to ‘know your weather, know your risk’, have the most up-to-date information, and be factoring our forecasts and warnings into their daily planning”.