The big wet: Flooding across the south-west | Saturday, Sunday | photos, video

***For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500***

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Update 7pm: Water levels have dropped on the Hopkins, but two jetskiers seen at Hopkins Falls and Allansford has prompted a warning. Read the full story here.

Update 4.30pm: The Standard photographer Vicky Hughson has been out at the Hopkins River mouth and captured photos some of the debris that have washed up, including a cow. Find the rest of our photos in the gallery.

Update 3.50pm: The Hopkins River at Allansford peaked around midday on Sunday and SES crews would inspect the levels again about 5pm.

Warrnambool SES controller Giorgio Palmeri said he was unsure if the river would peak again. 

Earlier forecasts predicted the river would peak from 10pm on Sunday.

Mount Emu Creek peaked around midnight and by 12.30am on Sunday the water had started to recede, Mr Palmeri said.

Update 2.30pm:

Update noon:

In Skipton, water levels in Mt Emu Creek continue to drop steadily. The Smythe Street gauge read 2.65 metres at 3pm Saturday afternoon.  It is expected this level will continue to drop over coming days unless further rainfall enters the system.

Update 11.45am: 

A downgraded flood warning has been issued for the Hopkins River at Allansford.

The State Emergency Service says the Hopkins River at Allansford has peaked and is now receding, however, a number of peaks are still expected due to inflows into the catchment.

No significant rainfall has been recorded in the catchment since 9am Friday and no significant rainfall is expected for the rest of Sunday.

The Ziegler Parade bridge remains closed.

Update 11.30am: Holidaymakers can now access part of the Great Ocean Road, which was closed for four days after landslides and falling rocks and trees. 

The State Emergency Services worked with VicRoads to reopen the section "after extensive clearing and repair of damage caused by landslides during the past week", a SES spokesman said.

There have been 150 landslides and rockfalls on the Great Ocean Road during the floods.

Update 11am: Corangamite Shire says a number of roads across the shire remain closed due to flooding. They are: Lower Darlington Road, Gnarpurt between Gnarpurt Road and Collins Lane (due to the bridge being washed out); Smythe Street, Skipton at the bridge over Mt Emu Creek; Curdies River Road at Curdies River Bridge; Limeworks Road; Cahills Road, Lismore; Maddens Bridge Road, Glenfyne (for at least the next week); Williams Road (one lane closed due to being washed out), near Scotts Creek; Grists Road between Linton Road and Lismore Pittong Road; Four Trees Road between Gnarkeet Road and Collins Lane. Vite Vite Road between Derrinallum-Skipton Road and Vite Vite-Skipton Road has been reopened.

Moyne Shire road closures include: Vickers Road, Garvoc; Sampsons Ford Road, Garvoc; Mahoneys Ford Road, Naringal; Korongah North Road, Rosebrook; Kents Ford Lane Ballangeich; New Bridge Road, Ellerslie; Connewarren Lane, Mortlake and Bromfields Road, Woolsthorpe.

Update 10.30am: Warrnambool SES unit controller Giorgio Palmeri said the Mount Emu Creek at Panmure peaked overnight between midnight and 1am and is now falling.

Mr Palmeri said the community was well-prepared and there has been no damage to properties.

In Allansford, Mr Palmeri said the Hopkins River had risen about 60 centimetres overnight and was still expected to peak about 10pm Sunday.

Sandbagging and other preparations have been carried out and Mr Palmeri said no properties had been affected so far.

“We are doing what we did for the 2011 floods and at the moment there are no issues,” he said 


Update 9pm:Flood victim Frank Bell is being remembered as a gentle soul.

Update 7.30pm: State Emergency Services operations officer Ken Smith reassured the Allansford meeting that crews had done all the could to prepare for the flood, and that the SES would be on standby to help those who needed assistance.

Mr Smith told the meeting that the Hopkins River was now expected to peak from 10pm on Sunday night and earlier in the afternoon for Mount Emu Creek at Panmure.

“We are ahead of the game,” he said.

“10pm Sunday night, just to reiterate, that is the main peak. You are going to experience a number of level changes as the various peaks come through from local rainfall, the Hopkins River and Mount Emu Creek.

“It’s just the timing of those I can’t tell you...but the main peak is expected to come through after 10pm Sunday night.” 

He said properties in the area had been door knocked.

Flood advice

Allansford’s drainage system had also been blocked and SES crews would be ready to pump any water out of the drainage system back into the river if needed to protect property, Mr Smith said.

He advised residents to listen to the radio, check the SES and Vic Roads websites, check your emergency plan and make sure family, friends and neighbours know what’s going on.

Mr Smith said some residents had been advised to prepare to evacuate, but said that it was unlikely that they would have to leave.

SES flood advice

He said it was good emergency crews were able to prepare for what might happen in Allansford and Panmure, unlike Coleraine over a week ago.

He said the SES would work with Casterton and Coleraine to improve flood watch information in the future with plans already under way for a flood study to be completed for the area in conjunction with the catchment management authority.

Update 1pm: State Emergency Service crews are sandbagging key areas around Allansford and Panmure on Saturday with the Hopkins River predicted to peak again on Sunday morning.

Warrnambool SES controller Giorgio Palmeri said the river was expected to reach 2011 flood levels.

At least 12 SES volunteers from across Melbourne have arrived in Warrnambool and will spend the next four days helping with the sandbagging operation.

Volunteers from Essendon, Malvern, Wittlesea, Broadmeadows, Whitehorse and Nillumbik joined local crews at the Allansford Recreation Reserve on Saturday morning to fill sandbags. 

Casterton crews, who were working to save property in their home town in the past week, have also arrived in Warrnambool to help.

The Princes Highway near Premier Speedway was sandbagged around lunchtime. The Allansford pump station and some properties were also earmarked to be sandbagged.

Warrnambool SES deputy controller Andrew Miles said that when the highway near the speedway was sandbagged in 2011 and it stopped floodwaters from going across the highway.

Other SES crews were also at Panmure on Saturday sandbagging the footy ground and at least one property close to the river.

The rowing club in Warrnambool and a house on Hopkins Point Road and Riverview Terrace, have also been sandbagged.

Mr Palmeri said Proudfoots Boathouse has also been told to prepare but they were confident it wouldn’t be impacted.

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