A nine-year-old girl has choked back tears during a live TV interview as raging floods threaten to destroy her family’s home.
Those living in Rochester, a small town 180km north of Melbourne, were told to evacuate the area with the swollen Campaspe River expected to peak early on Friday morning.
A family that has lived in the countryside all their lives is now faced with the reality that they may not have a home to return to.
Riley, a nine-year-old girl, struggled to get the words out as she clutched a laptop when asked by a reporter how she was doing.
Nine-year-old Riley choked back tears as she described feeling “terrified” by the flooding crisis in her hometown of Rochester, Victoria
Flooding has inundated the small rural town of Rochester in northern Victoria
“A little scared because I’ve never seen this water this high,” she told a Today Show reporter Friday morning.
As well as Rochester, evacuation orders have been issued for Wedderburn, Maribyrnong in Melbourne’s inner city, Benalla and Carisbrook.
More than 450 properties in Rochester are expected to be affected when the swollen Campaspe River crests.
The Victorian SES warned that flooding in the city could resemble those in 2011, when 80 per cent of the city and surrounding countryside were inundated.
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.
Evacuation orders have been issued for suburbs in Victoria, including Wedderburn, Maribyrnong in Melbourne’s inner city, Benalla, Carisbrook and Rochester
Businesses have sandbagged their premises, with residents told to evacuate
‘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.
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.
Floodwaters are seen entering a Victorian family’s home on Friday morning
Those living in Rochester, a small town 180km north of Melbourne, have been asked to evacuate the area with the swollen Campaspe River expected to crest early Friday morning
A house in Rochester, Victoria is seen surrounded by flooding after Thursday’s deluge
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 ‘at risk’ suburbs.
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.
More than 450 properties in Rochester are expected to be affected when the swollen Campaspe River crests