Thousands of Victorians have been urged to evacuate their homes immediately as communities are inundated with flooding – with some told it is now too late to leave.
Evacuation orders have been issued for Wedderburn, Maribyrnong in Melbourne’s inner city, Benalla, Carisbrook and Rochester.
For those living in Seymour, which is just over an hour north of Melbourne, they were told on Friday morning that it is too late to leave. An emergency center has opened in Wedderburn Hall.
‘It is now too late for people to leave the area bounded by the Goulburn River to Redbank Rd; along the Goulburn Valley Hwy to Whiteheads Creek up to the railway line and along the bridge crossing the river to the south,’ VicEmergency said.
‘If you are not evacuated, you should seek shelter in the highest place possible.’
The same warning has also been issued for low lying areas between Benalla and Baddiginnie.
Evacuation orders have been issued for suburbs in Victoria, including Wedderburn, Maribyrnong in Melbourne’s inner city, Benalla, Carisbrook and Rochester
Victoria has endured the worst of the rain this week, but the BoM canceled the severe weather warning on Friday
Those unable to escape to safety have been told to seek shelter on the highest possible ground and ensure they have enough food and water.
‘Be aware that you may be isolated from flooding for a considerable period of time,’ reads the warning.
A warning of an impending dam failure at Skinners Flat Reservoir prompted the order to evacuate Wedderburn immediately.
Residents in low-lying areas of Lake Eildon have been told to evacuate as flood waters encroach on bridges, homes and parks in the embattled city of Bendigo.
Maribyrnong (pictured) was one of the first Melbourne suburbs to be ordered to evacuate
Thousands of residents in the heart of Melbourne have been ordered to evacuate. The picture shows the suburb of Maribyrnong under water on Friday
More than 450 properties in Rochester are expected to be affected when the swollen Campaspe River crests early Friday morning.
The Victorian SES warned that the floods in Rochester could be reminiscent of those in 2011, when 80 per cent of the township and surrounding land was inundated.
At least 9,000 homes across the state have been left without electricity after a power station was flooded in Castlemaine, 100km north-west of Melbourne.
There have also been countless warnings to move to higher ground and to avoid flooded areas around the state.
42 suburbs have been declared at risk.
Brunswick, Coburg, Fitzroy and Northcote in Melbourne’s inner-north and Essendon, Sunshine, Footscray and Yarraville in the west are all on the list of ‘suburbs at risk’.
A partially submerged car is seen in Bendigo, Victoria on Thursday as wet weather batters the state
Dozens of schools have been closed and train lines cut across much of the north as the state waits for the worst of the wet weather to clear.
Thousands of Victorians were hit by heavy flooding on Thursday, with residents in the central and north-eastern parts of the state hardest hit.
Strathbogie North in the state’s northeast received 220mm of rain by 10am. 06:00 on Friday, while Charnwood saw 209mm.
There may be some relief in store for Victorians, with the Bureau of Meteorology declaring that the severe weather warning issued for the state has now been cancelled.
Scattered showers are expected in the state’s southern and mountain districts until Friday, but the wet weather has mostly eased.
But Victoria’s emergency commissioner, Andrew Crisp, has warned the state’s flood risk will not end after today, or even after this weekend.
He told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell ‘we’re in this for a while’, with the state experiencing a ‘campaign flood event’.
“There’s another low developing so we’ll probably see that weather next Wednesday/Thursday,” he told Mitchell.
At least 40 schools and early childhood centers have closed with office workers in Melbourne told to stay home amid fears the Yarra River would flood.
Football ovals in Bendigo are seen completely submerged in water, while three boys sit in a canoe nearby