Victorian agencies work together to reassure residents and businesses in Northern Victoria

Victorian agencies work together to reassure residents and businesses in Northern Victoria

03/07/2023, 11:00 AM

Following a wetter than average June in much of Victoria, and three years of La Niña conditions, the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) in Northern Victoria are working together with the Bureau of Meteorology (the “Bureau”) and surrounding water authorities to share preparedness advice, monitor local conditions, and help to reassure the public. 

Climate models suggest that, from mid-July, communities along the Murray have a greater chance of seeing below median rainfall and therefore drier than usual conditions. However, catchments are wetter than normal and there is always the chance of significant rain events at this time of year, so high flows are likely and riverine flooding is still possible.

During the winter and spring period, our water authorities and catchment management authorities (CMAs) - along with VICSES and the Bureau - will continue to provide warnings and advice through the VicEmergency app, the Bureau website, and the BOM weather app.

VICSES’ message for the rest of winter is to always be prepared, but not alarmed based on the current climate outlook. Accordingly, communities are encouraged to take the following steps to prepare for, and mitigate, flood-related incidents or storm damage to your home or property:

  • Update your VicEmergency app and set up a Watch Zone for your locality, or travel destination.
  • Update your location on the BOM Weather App.
  • Heed advice warnings, particularly for risk of riverine or flash flooding. 
  • Clean your gutters, downpipes and drains, to avoid flood-related incidents. 
  • Tie down loose object during storms, and check for falling trees.

VICSES, the Bureau, your local water authority and CMA are keenly aware of the concerns felt by residents in recently flood-affected communities, which is why we are in constant contact to manage our rivers and catchments, as well our approach to any weather events which pass through our state.

Quotes attributable to VICSES Hume Duty Officer, Michael Isbister:

“A Minor Flood Warning for the King, Ovens, and Kiewa Rivers was downgraded over the weekend. This was the second Minor Flood Warning prompted by river levels in this area over the last three weeks.”

“Some catchments respond more quickly to normal winter rainfall, so we might see catchments tip into Minor Flood level multiple times over the season.”

Quotes attributable to Loddon Mallee Duty Officer, Rebecca McDonald:

"A Minor Flood Warning has been issued for the Murray River downstream of Tocumwal to Barham, with the river currently at 5.55m, above the Minor Flood Level of 5.50m.”

Quote attributable to James Kellerman, General Manager Operations and Community, Mallee Catchment Management Authority:

“Given the large capacity of our river and floodplain in the lower Murray region, we need more than one upstream catchment or tributary to be in flood before we see impacts downstream.”

Quotes attributable to Goulburn-Murray Water Resources Manager, Dr Mark Bailey:

“Releases of about 12,000ML per day are expected to continue throughout July, subject to inflows into Lake Eildon,” he said.”

"Minor adjustments will be made to accommodate any increased inflows downstream of Eildon.”


Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) is aiming to reduce the water levels in Eildon to 94 per cent by 1 August 2023.

As of Wednesday 28 June 2023, Lake Eildon’s current storage level is 97.4 per cent.

Due to a wet catchment and rainfall in June, GMW has moved to the wet operating scenario when determining its filling targets, in line with its obligations under the Victorian Water Act 1989.

The new scenario aims to have Eildon full by 1 November instead of 1 October.