South-west likely to miss deluge

10.10AM: The south-west is expected to miss much of the downpours that are expected to inundate other parts of Victoria.

Bureau of Meteorology Victoria forecaster Stephen McGibbony said most of the south-west missed the heavy downpours that fell early this morning elsewhere in Victoria and only 2-5 millimetres were expected to fall in the region for the rest of today.

Mr McGibbony also said only 2-5mm were expected to fall in the south-west tomorrow.

Between 10-30mm had been forecast to fall in the south-west last night and into the early hours of today but Warrnambool only received about 15mm, Hawkesdale 23mm, Port Fairy 17mm, Portland 18mm, and Hamilton 11mm in the 24 hours till 9am this morning.

But Mr McGibbony said between 25-40mm was received further north in places such as Edenhope and Stawell.

He said significant falls had been forecast further east in the state today but the south-west was likely to be removed from the next Severe Weather warning issued by the bureau at 11am.

Organisers of many Christmas events such as tomorrow’s Fletcher Jones Christmas Market Garden Party will be breathing a sign of relief following the easing of the forecast for heavy rain. 

9.10AM: The Warrnambool Gift has been cancelled due to the predicted storms. Simpson’s speedway meet has also been called off.

9AM: Carols by the Merri will be held at Brauer College tonight.

8.30AM: The Bureau of Meteorology has warned of an “unprecedented” amount of rain to fall across Victoria over three days.

Asked to rate the storms out of 10, senior forecaster Scott Williams said: “I’ll take the punt and say it’s a 10.”

Weather warning

A SEVERE weather warning remains in place for most of Victoria, including the south-west.

Heavy rain, scattered thunderstorms and flash flooding are predicted.

Three day totals for the south-west are expected to reach between 30 and 100 millimetres.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should: 

* Don't walk, ride or drive through flood water; 

* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains; 

* Be aware that in fire affected areas, rainfall run-off into waterways may contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks; 

* Be alert that in areas recently affected by fires, heavy rainfall increases the potential for landslides and debris across roads.

Rainfall overnight

WARRNAMBOOL weather station has received 15.4 millimetres of rain in the 22.5 hours since 9am Thursday.

The Westmere weather station, in the Ararat region, received the highest rainfall in the south-west during the same period with 5​7.​4​mm.

Ben Nevis weather station, south-west of Avoca, received 25.2mm.

Mount William at Halls Gap 19.2, Portland airport 17.2, Port Fairy 16.6, Mount Gelibrand in the Colac area 13.6, Mortlake 9 and Coleraine and Casterton stations just over 10.

Advice from the Warrnambool SES

MEMBERS of the public who live in areas prone to flooding have been urged to invest in sandbags.

“As there is potential for delayed response on behalf of the Warrnambool SES due to increased demand, we invite the members of the public that live in renowned flood prone areas, to proactively secure some sandbags which can be found at your local Bunnings warehouse,” Giorgio Palmeri‎ wrote on the unit’s Facebook page.

Sandbags will not stop the water completely, but can reduce the amount of water entering your home.

Here’s a list of phone numbers which may be helpful

Bureau of Meteorology extreme weather and flooding 1300 659 215

SES 24 Hour Emergency 132 500

Warrnambool City Council 5559 4800

Flood guides for the south-west provided by the Victorian SES

WARRNAMBOOL

Are you at risk of flood?

Many homes, businesses and farmland in and around Warrnambool are at risk from flooding from one or more of the below.

  • Heavy rainfall causing river and or flash flooding in the surrounding catchments including the Mount Emu, Yangery and Russells Creeks, Kelly’s Swamp and the Koroit, Macarthur, Woolsthorpe, Hawkesdale, Penshurst, Ellerslie, Warrnambool and Allansford areas.
  • Sea level rise or king tides affecting the Merri River.
  • Storm surge where sea water is pushed toward the shore by the force of the wind. Occasionally, the above may combine to increase the effects of flooding.
  • For example, in 1995, high sea levels caused more flooding in areas of South Warrnambool.

CASTERTON

Large parts of the Casterton Township are situated on the Glenelg River floodplain.

During flooding, roads in and around Casterton are affected by floodwater to significant depths.

Flooding can also affect some properties and isolate many others.

Casterton can experience multiple flood peaks, where the river height peaks, then recedes, then peaks again.

This is caused by rivers upstream of the town flowing into the Glenelg River at different times.

The first peak is usually caused by the Wando River and can be expected to reach Casterton 4-12 hours after the river height has peaked at the Wando Vale Gauge.

The second peak is usually higher and is caused by Glenelg and Chetwynd Rivers and can be expected in Casterton 18-36 hours after it has been shown on the Dergholm Gauge (44 kilometres) upstream of Casterton.

A study of the cause of flood levels at Casterton has shown that inflows from the Wannon River, seven kilometres downstream of the town near Sandford have no significant influence on peak flood heights in Casterton.

Impacts of major floods in Casterton are likely to affect the town for a number of days after a major flood peak.

This is because of water pooling in old river channels and billabongs that now only connect to the river during high river flows. 

HAMILTON

Hamilton is a flood prone area at risk of both riverine (from the river) and flash flooding (from heavy rainfall).

Riverine flooding can particularly affect areas around Apex Drive on the Grange Burn waterway and upstream of Coleraine Road-Henty Highway adjacent to King Street on the Marshalls Road Tributary.

In March 1946, flooding severely affected Holden Street and Abbott Street in Hamilton. Flash flooding also poses risks in many low-lying areas of Hamilton, especially properties close to the Marshalls Road Tributary.

This area can flood quickly and has flooded in the past including in 2004 and again in 2012. Flash flooding is more likely with the three smaller tributaries:

Petschels Lane Tributary - runs from near Kurtzes Road, crossing the Hamilton Highway near W Schultz Road and Fyfe Street. After the Hamilton Highway, Petschels Lane Tributary joins Muddy Creek south of Mount Napier Road.

Marshalls Road Tributary - starts near the Bandicoot enclosure and runs over open paddocks to the east. The tributary then crosses Mount Baimbridge Road before crossing North Boundary Road, Kent Road and King Street then Coleraine Road before travelling over Lewis and Young Streets and joining the Grange Burn.

Kennys Road Tributary - starts near the intersection of Beveridges Road and Mount Baimbridge Road then crosses Kennys Road, Sobeys Road and North Boundary Road east of the speedway before crossing Coleraine and West Boundary roads.

Preparing for Floods

Before a flood

  • Develop an Emergency Plan.
  • Check if you could be cut off by floodwater.
  •  Know the safest way to go if you decide to leave your property and plan an alternative route.
  • Check your insurance policies to ensure your equipment, property and business are covered for flood damage.
  •  Keep a list of emergency numbers near the telephone.
  • Put together an Emergency Kit.

When a flood is likely 

  • Take action. Follow your Emergency Plan.
  • Listen to your radio for information and advice.
  • Check your neighbours are safe and know about the flood.
  • Stack possessions on benches and tables with electrical goods in the highest places.
  •  Anchor objects that are likely to float and cause damage.
  • Move rubbish bins, chemicals and poisons to the highest place.
  • Put important papers, valuables, photos and other special personal items into your Emergency Kit.
  • Business owners should raise stock, business records and equipment onto benches and tables.
  • Rural property owners should move livestock, pumps and machinery to higher ground.
  • If you are likely to be isolated, have enough food, drinking water, medicine, fuel and other needs to last at least three days.
  • Do not forget pet food and stock feed.