WARRNAMBOOL SES say 15cms of flood water is all it takes to take a car off a road.
After the recent flash flooding which resulted in 91 calls for assistance in Warrnambool, SES controller Giorgio Palmeri urged drivers to avoid driving through flood water.
"It's a very little amount of water that can float a car," he said.
It's a very little amount of water that can float a car.Warrnambool SES controller Giorgio Palmeri
"Obviously it varies from car to car, but for a small car it's 15cms.
"Even if it looks safe, even if you always drive on it.
"You don't know if part of the road has been taken away because the flash flooding."
Mr Palmeri said it was worrying that so many drivers ignored warnings and drove through flooded roads last weekend.
"We had two rescue calls from people who had driven through flooded water," he said.
"And there's other ones we're aware of where the car has been parked on the road and the occupants have swam out.
"We also witnessed cars driving through water when we were on our way to rescues.
"As an SES we're very often called to help and there has also been fatalities."
Mr Palmeri said last weekend's flooding was a reminder to be careful.
"We had many calls for cars in floods," he said.
"The majority was for people with water in their house.
"The majority of rain came in one hour.
"The gutters at a lot of Warrnambool homes can't handle that amount of rain in a short amount of time."
Mr Palmeri said prior to the flooding the SES was prepared for a thunderstorm with a severe weather alert.
"We knew a storm was coming but often we have storms that spread over the weekend," he said.
"This was really concentrated to about an hour.
"We triaged and did the most important jobs first.
"All we could really do in most cases was clean up."
Last Saturday the Bureau of Meteorology said about 30 millimetres had fallen in 12 minutes, causing substantial flash flooding.
BoM forecaster Christie Johnson said downpour met their threshold for "a one-in-50-year rain intensity." She said 25 millimetres of rain fell in 45 minutes in Port Fairy and Dartmoor had 20 millimetres of rain in 15 minutes.
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