North West bears brunt of storm supercells

North West bears brunt of storm supercells

27/01/2022, 4:50 PM

Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) has received over 375 calls for assistance in the past 24 hours, to 3:00pm Thursday. Of the calls for help received by our volunteers across the state, 145 have been for flood-related impacts,107 for downed trees and 103 for building damage.

Outside of Melbourne and Central Victoria, the North West Region experienced the most severe impacts from the stormy conditions, with Mildura out in front, having received 80mm of rainfall in just a single day; the largest recorded daily rainfall total in the month of January.

Volunteers at our VICSES Mildura Unit received 120 calls for help between 9:00pm Wednesday  to 5:00am Thursday. Three of those calls were for persons trapped in their vehicles, along with calls for assistance with flash flooding into homes and businesses; building damage; downed trees and powerlines, and blocked roads.

Of the more than 100 damaged buildings reported, the majority of these were from Central Victoria (49 calls) and the North West Region (33). The suburbs most affected by damaged buildings were Mildura (22), Wallan (7) and Mernda (6).

Though Mildura has taken the brunt of the bad weather, recording over 100 calls for help, other suburbs most affected were Irymple (16); Gisborne (13); Mernda (11), and Doreen (10). At VICSES Gisborne Unit, our volunteers assisted their communities as they dealt with multiple building damage and flooding events, which impacted residents and local businesses in Gisborne and New Gisborne.

Showers and storms are likely to occur across almost all of Victoria today (Thursday) and may continue overnight. Heavy to intense rainfall that may lead to flash flooding is the main risk, although damaging wind gusts and large hail are possible.

Areas around the Macedon Ranges that have experienced significant storm activity already this morning will most likely only see storms later this evening and overnight.

Thunderstorms are also possible across the state tomorrow (Friday), with the majority of thunderstorm activity expected later in the day.

If you need our help as the weather continues, call 132 500. In life-threatening emergencies, dial Triple Zero.

Quote attributable to North West Duty Officer Rebecca McDonald:

“Overnight, VICSES Mildura Unit volunteers responded to three requests for assistance from people trapped in their vehicle in floodwater. The VICSES volunteers were successfully able to rescue all the trapped persons, which is a great outcome but it could so easily have been a different story. We remind you never to drive through floodwater; it may be the last decision you make.”

“As we expect continued severe weather throughout Victoria today, please follow the advice of emergency services and download the VicEmergency App, to set up a watch zone in your area. Call 132 500 for storm and flood assistance or, for emergencies, dial Triple Zero.”