Incoming deluge brings flood threat to Melbourne, battered towns

Incoming deluge brings flood threat to Melbourne, battered towns

June 7, 2023

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Flood warnings have been issued for greater Melbourne and large parts of Victoria, including regions that flooded last year, with severe weather expected to bring heavy rainfall and damaging winds on Wednesday.

The Yarra, Werribee and Maribyrnong rivers running through Melbourne from the city’s north-east, west and north-west, are included in widespread flood warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology.

A deluge is expected to hit parts of Melbourne and Victoria on Wednesday.Credit: Scott McNaughton

Up to 20 millimetres of rain has been forecast, with the chance of a thunderstorm in the evening. Damaging winds of up to 45km/h are possible in the north-eastern suburbs, the bureau has advised.

Meteorologist Helen Reid said an initial downfall was expected late morning to early afternoon, with rain increasing in the evening.

She said more rain in Melbourne in the next 48 hours would extend the flood warning into Thursday.

Up to 100 millimetres of rain is expected in the regions.

Record-breaking floods devastated Victoria last year.Credit: The Age

Swan Hill, Wangaratta, Charlton and Kerang – which were hit during the state’s devastating floods in October – are among the flood-prone towns in low-grade warning zones for the Loddon, Avoca, Kiewa, Ovens and King Rivers in northern Victoria.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has cancelled a visit to Horsham on Wednesday due to a severe weather warning for the area.

Reid said river catchments that were already saturated from Victoria’s record-breaking floods in October could flood again.

“It is something that will be monitored very closely and people just need to be aware of if they have been flooded [recently], depending where they are,” she said.

Seven and Castle Creeks near Euroa, and the Upper Murray and Mitta Mitta Rivers near Wodonga, are also under watch.

Much of the Greater Melbourne area is enveloped in a yellow flood warning on the VicEmergency website.

Reid said the warning covered the western parts of the state, including the Wimmera, down through the south-west and up into the Mallee.

“We do also have that severe weather warning continuing along the Ranges for the damaging winds as well,” she said.

Radar images for Melbourne and Victoria Wednesday.Credit: Bureau of Meteorology

“So there’s quite a broad area that’s covered by that one warning, looking at heavy rainfall and damaging wind gusts.”

The warning follows an announcement from the bureau on Tuesday that it was upgrading the chance of El Nino this year to 70 per cent, which typically means warmer and drier conditions.

Reid said even in the middle of an El Nino there is still a chance of heavy rain events.

“They just don’t add up to as much as you would expect over the whole season,” she said.

Reid said the areas that are likely to be affected by heavy rainfall could change over the course of the day, as the cold front moves from west to east.

The bureau will update its flood advice at 2pm on Wednesday.

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