Latest updates on September floods in central Victoria

LAST WEEK’S COVERAGE, PHOTOS, VIDEOS, STORIES: Flood watch | Heavy rain soaks region

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UPDATE 12pm: The severe weather warning for our region has been cancelled.

Regions to the east of Echuca are still being warned to brace for heavy rain, but central Victoria is no longer in the forecast area.

Click the picture to read more about the current warning.

Click the picture to read more about the current warning.

UPDATE WEDNESDAY 7.15am: 

Forecast rains failed to fall in Bendigo overnight, with the city recording less than one millimetre before 7am. 

Four millimetres of rain were measured in Rochester, the highest reading in the region. 

But the Bureau of Metereology has issued a new severe weather warning for parts of the state, including Bendigo. 

A low pressure system centred to the north of of Mildura is expected to move southeastwards today.

A band of rain is associated with the low, along with the risk of thunderstorms.

Heavy rain that may lead to flash flooding is likely to affect parts of the Mallee, Northern Country, North Central and Northeast districts, the bureau said. 

Widespread totals of 15 to 25mm are forecast across the warning area, with localised falls of up to 50mm possible. 

The potential for heavy rain will clear by late morning, contracting southeastwards, although showers will persist over the area this afternoon.

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; 

UPDATE 5.15pm: Forecast rain is expected to be heavy thunderstorms to Victoria on Tuesday.

Widespread falls of between 20mm and 40mm are forecast for the northwest of the state on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, with the potential for thunderstorms and flash flooding.

Northern Victoria is expected to get rain on Wednesday.

Victoria State Emergency Service has received more than 1300 calls for assistance in the past 10 days, with 513 of those flood related. 

There have been 21 people rescued from floodwater, 192 roads are closed across the state and 25 local government areas have been impacted by floodwaters.

“Emergency services, municipalities and communities have worked well together over the past 10 days to plan, respond and assist each other,” Bendigo Incident Controller John Breaks said.

“However we are not over it just yet and we are urging people to continue to remain vigilant.

“With the expected rainfall over the next 24-36 hours, we ask that people take appropriate precautions as localised flooding may be an issue in some areas and residents should ensure that their properties are prepared for such events. Don’t get caught by surprise.’’ 

UPDATE 3.30pm: A flood watch has been issued for Campaspe, Loddon and Avoca Basins. 

The Victoria State Emergency Service expects significant stream rises in the Campaspe, Loddon, Avoca and Wimmera Catchments with the forecast rainfall. 

Renewed minor to moderate flooding is likely to develop from Wednesday morning.

A major flood warning has been issued for the Avoca River, and a moderate flood warning for the Loddon River.

The flood watch is intended to prepare people living or working along rivers and streams to monitor the latest weather forecasts and warnings and be ready to move to higher ground, should flooding develop.

A flood warning is issued if the water level is expected to exceed the minor flood level.

Minor to moderate flooding is likely to redevelop in the Avoca River upstream of Charlton from Wednesday morning.

Major flooding is likely downstream of Charlton.

The river at Charlton was recorded at 3.12 metres, and falling, at 10.30am. 

A community update states there is still a large amount of water in the local area being held back by crops in surrounding farmland.

Water upstream of the Calder Highway and to the east of Charlton might rise again if there is significant rainfall. 

Rochester might receive between 20 and 40 millimetres of rain, a community update states. 

A low pressure system, predicted to sweep through overnight, could result in heavy localised falls of 50 to 70 millimetres. 

Barbecue areas on the Campaspe River bank might begin to flood, just below the minor flood level. 

The Campaspe River at Barnadown was steady at 1.64 metres at 12.45pm.

The river at Rochester Town was at 107.76 metres at 9am, below the minor flood level of 113 metres. 

It was holding steady at 2.23 metres at Rochester Syphon at 12.45pm.

McCallum Creek at Carisbrook was also steady at 0.66 metres at 8.45am.

Moderate flooding is likely along the Loddon River Laanecoorie to Loddon Weir, with the river likely to exceed the moderate flood level of three metres on Wednesday morning due to rainfall.

A flood community update has been issued for Kerang, with the Loddon River at Appin South at 2.7 metres and rising. 

The river level is likely to exceed the minor flood level of 2.8 metres during Tuesday and could reach the moderate flood level of 3.10 metres late Wednesday or Thursday. 

The Loddon River at the Murray Valley Highway Bridge at Kerang was at 76.01 metres when the warning was issued and was “rising very slowly.”

It might peak above the minor flood level of 77 metres later this week.

The SES has warned properties can start to become isolated to the north and south of Kerang above 77.4 metres. 

If Your Property is Likely to Become Isolated:

  • 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.
  • Move pumps, machinery, hay and livestock to high ground.
  • Move rubbish bins, chemicals and poisons to the highest place.
  • Anchor objects that are likely to float and cause damage.
  • 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.
  • 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.

UPDATE 11.30am: The Bureau of Meteorology has issued an updated severe weather warning, now forecasting more rain to fall across a wider area.

It is now expected 20-40mm will fall in areas within the warning zone, and up to 70mm in areas hit by thunderstorms.

The rain is expected to hit the Wimmera-Mallee region this evening and move over central Victoria by midnight, continuing into tomorrow.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should: 

  • Not 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; and
  • Be alert that in areas recently affected by fires, heavy rainfall increases the potential for landslides and debris across roads. 

Major flood warnings remain in place for the Wimmera and Avoca rivers, and a moderate flood warning remains in place for the Loddon River.

The severe weather warning area. Source: www.bom.gov.au

The severe weather warning area. Source: www.bom.gov.au

flood watch also exists for all three rivers along with the Campaspe River, as the forecast rainfall is expected to cause significant stream rises in the Campaspe, Loddon, Avoca and Wimmera basins that may lead to renewed minor to moderate flooding from tomorrow.

UPDATE TUESDAY 8:45am: A severe weather warning is in place for heavy rainfall for parts of central Victoria, which the Bureau of Meteorology warns might lead to flash flooding.

People in the Mallee, Northern Country, Wimmera and parts of the Central, South West and North Central forecast districts are being warned to brace for widespread totals of 15 to 30mm from this afternoon and into tomorrow morning.

A low pressure system over South Australia is forecast to reach far northwestern Victoria late this afternoon, and then will extend across the Mallee and parts of the Wimmera district during the evening, the Bureau predicts. 

It will then spread to parts of the Southwest, Northern Country and North Central districts by midnight and into parts of the Central district by early tomorrow morning.

The bureau is forecasting the rain will fall in a period of 4-8 hours, with the chance heavy rain or thunderstorms may cause localised falls of 30 to 50mm.

Major flood warnings remain in place for the Wimmera and Avoca rivers, and a moderate flood warning remains in place for the Loddon River.

A flood watch also exists for all three rivers along with the Campaspe River, as the forecast rainfall is expected to cause significant stream rises in the Campaspe, Loddon, Avoca and Wimmera basins that may lead to renewed minor to moderate flooding from tomorrow.

Bendigo is headed for a top of 17 degrees, Maryborough 17, Castlemaine 16, Kyneton 14, Redesdale 16, Echuca 18.

UPDATE TUESDAY 8.35am: 

Community meetings in flood-affected townships yesterday were “positive” and “calm”, Victorian emergency services have said, as water moves through the state’s river systems to communities living downstream. 

Residents of Charlton, Bridgewater, Newbridge, Serpentine, Donald, Kerang, Quambatook, Carisbrook and Maryborough were among those updated on floods in their neighbourhood throughout Monday.

Speaking after meetings in Charlton and Bridgewater, Bendigo incident control centre public information officer Mark Kelly said the mood had been upbeat. 

“Things are relatively positive and calm, things are just going along,” Mr Kelly said.

“There didn’t appear to be any concerns.” 

The Avoca River’s water level at Charlton had dropped dramatically by Monday morning, falling to 4.15 metres by 9.45am. 

It peaked at 7.55 metres on Saturday. 

Water was also receding in Donald, on the Richardson River, Richardson River, down to 3.58 metres early Monday. 

At Quambatook yesterday, water levels remained steady at 1.37 metres, with the Avoca’s peak in the town still to come on Tuesday. 

But even if the Bureau of Meteorology’s prediction of a 2.4-metre river height is reached, that would not see any homes experience over-the-floor inundation. 

Still, emergency services remained in flood-affected communities in case forecast rain changed the situation.  

More than 20 personnel yesterday remained at the Bendigo ICC to co-ordinate the flood response. 

Mr Kelly, a CFA member, said he enjoyed working alongside those from the SES and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.  

“It’s gathering intelligence, it’s keeping an eye on river levels and where it’s happening, keeping an eye on future scenarios,” he said.

UPDATE MONDAY 12.20pm: Emergency services are continuing to monitor the Avoca River where a major flood warning remains in place.

Incident Controller John Breaks said the river level had decreased rapidly at Charlton in the last 24 hours, dropping to 4.15 metres by 9.45am. 

It peaked at 7.55 metres on Saturday. 

“Emergency services are maintaining contact with the community and will provide support should it be required,” Mr Breaks said. That included a community meeting held earlier this morning.

Further downstream in Quambatook, water levels remained steady at 1.37 metres, but the river is not expected to peak there until Wednesday, where heights up to 2.4 metres are expected.

“At 2.4 metre, it is not expected there will be any over floor inundation in Quambatook,” Mr Breaks said. 

Still, a public meeting will take place in the town at 4pm today.

Meanwhile, the Richardson River gauge at Donald continues to show floodwater receding, down to 3.58 metres early this morning. 

The incident controller said there are no reports of any impact or damage in the community, but warned of possible disruption to telephone, power and sewerage services. 

EARLIER: Flood-affected towns across central Victoria remain on alert today, with emergency services holding six community meetings today.

Residents of Charlton, Bridgewater, Newbridge, Serpentine, Donald, Kerang, Quambatook, Carisbrook, Maryborough and surrounding areas will be briefed about the current flood situation.

Charlton Community Meeting

  • Where: Charlton Public Hall, 9 Armstrong Street, Charlton
  • When: 10am, Monday 19 September 2016

Bridgewater, Newbridge and Serpentine Community Meeting

  • Where: Bridgewater Town Hall, 37 Eldon Street, Bridgewater
  • When: 10am, Monday 19 September 2016

Donald Community Meeting

  • Where: Soldiers Memorial Hall, McCulloch Street, Donald
  • When: 1pm, Monday 19 September 2016

Kerang Community Meeting

  • Where: Kerang Memorial Hall, Nolan Street, Kerang
  • When: 1.30pm, Monday 19 September 2016

Quambatook Community Meeting

  • Where: Quambatook Seniors Hall, Olive Street, Quambatook
  • When: 4pm, Monday 19 September 2016

Carisbrook & Maryborough Community Meeting

  • Where: CFA Station, 9 Urquhart Street, Carisbrook
  • When: 6pm, Monday 19 September 2016

While Victoria’s State Emergency Services said major flooding was continuing in the Avoca River catchment, the are had seen less than one millimetre of rain since yesterday morning.

A forecast for isolated showers over the coming day means renewed river rises are unlikely, the SES’s latest update read. 

At 4pm yesterday, the Avoca at Charlton measured 6.18 metres high, down from a peak of 7.55 metres.

The September 2010 flood peaked around 7.9 metres.

SES predicted the river would fall below the moderate flood level (five metres) this morning.

Major flooding is still likely to affect towns downstream from Charlton, with water levels at Quambatook expected to peak around 2.4 metres during Tuesday.

In the Wimmera catchment, the Richardson River at Donald is holding steady, measuring 3.68 metres yesterday afternoon. 

Updates are also available for the Loddon River system.

SES advice for flood-affected communities remains the same:

  • Never walk, ride or drive through floodwater,
  • Never allow children to play in floodwater,
  • Stay away from waterways and stormwater drains during and after heavy rain,
  • Keep well clear of fallen power lines
  • Be aware that in fire affected areas, rainfall run-off into waterways may contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks, and heavy rainfall increases the potential for landslides and debris across roads.

Road closures 

State road closures

Adam Stan Photography captures the Upper Coliban Reservoir flowing strongly.

City of Greater Bendigo road closures (as of 4.30pm Friday) 

  • Yumah Road, Lockwood South
  • Gordons Road, Woodvale Between Airstrip Road & Loddon Valley Hwy
  • Wilkie Road, Junortoun between Trotting Terrace & McIvor Hwy
  • Goornong – Mayreef Road – between Avenmore/Mayreef Road & Elmore Minto Road
  • Stewarts Lane – between Calder Alternate Hwy & Boyles Lane
  • Drummartin Road, - between Bendigo-Tennyson & Elmore
  • Ma’s Road - between Harris Road & McKenzie Road
  • OSullivans Road – between McKenzie & Cemetery Road

Mount Alexander Shire Council road closures (as of 3pm Monday)

  • Baringhup West – Eastville Road (at Hamiltons Crossing, between Baringhup – Eddington Road and Dudleys Road)
  • Byrnes and Richards Road, Elphinstone (from Harcourt – Sutton Grange Road to Faraday – Sutton Grange Road)
  • Davies Road, Walmer (at Fogartys Gap Road)
  • Symes Road, Harcourt
  • Union St, Maldon (from Castlemaine - Maldon Road to Mills Street)

Central Goldfields Shire road closures (as of 1pm Monday)

  • Alma - Alma Moonlight Road - Now open
  • Bealiba - Chapples Bridge - Now open
  • Betley - Bendigo Maryborough Road - Now open
  • Betley - Bridge on Betley Road - Now open
  • Carisbrook - Rodborough Road - Now open
  • Carisbrook - Camp Street - Now open (traffic hazard exists)
  • Carisbrook - Chapel Street - Now open
  • Carisbrook - Chaplins Lane - Now open
  • Carisbrook - Freehold Lane - Possibly open after 4pm 19/09/2016
  • Cotswold - Saligaris Road - washout under bridge surface
  • Dunluce - Avoca Bealiba Road - Now open
  • Dunluce - Scent Farm Road - Closed
  • Dunolly - Broadway - Now open
  • Dunolly - Dunolly Avoca Road - Now open
  • Dunolly - Maude Street - Closed (Southern end)
  • Dunolly - Stuart Mill Road - Closed - washout at culvert
  • Eddington - Bridge on Freemantles Road - Closed
  • Eddington - Bridge on Middle Road - Open (traffic hazard exists)
  • Havelock - Bridge on McKenzies Road - Closed (debris & pavement damage)
  • Havelock - Carisbrook Havelock Road - Now open
  • Havelock - Timor Dunolly Road - Now open (traffic hazard exists)
  • Lillicur - Lillicur Road - Now open (traffic hazard exists)
  • Lillicur - Scotts Road - Now open (traffic hazard exists)
  • Majorca - Talbot Road - Now open
  • Majorca - Commercial Road - Now open
  • Maryborough - Argyle Road - Washout across road
  • Moolort - Bridge on Rodborough Road - Closed
  • Mount Cameron - Cotswold Road - Now open
  • Mount Cameron - Causeway Faucetts Crossing - Closed
  • Talbot - Ballarat Maryborough Road - Now open
  • Talbot - Baker Road - Now open (traffic hazard exists)
  • Talbot - Crespigny Street - Now open
  • Talbot - Powells Road - Now open
  • Talbot - Vinecombes Road - Now open
  • Timor - Bridge on Timor Road - Now open
  • Wareek - Longs Road - Open (traffic hazard exists)
  • Wareek - Porteous Road - Open (guard rail works underway)
  • Wareek - Old School Road - Open

Buloke Shire Council road closures (as of 10am Friday)

  • Nine Mile Rd, Yuengroon
  • Laen - Cope Cope Rd, Rich Avon
  • Charlton Borung Rd, Barrakee
  • Laen - Cope Cope Rd, Cope Cope
  • Woosang - Yeungroon Rd, Woosang
  • Barrakee Rd, Woosang
  • Charlton Borung Rd, Charlton
  • Edwards Rd, Woosang
  • Charlton-St Arnaud Rd, Charlton
  • Back St Arnaud Rd, Charlton
  • Dew Lane, Charlton
  • Baden Powell Rd, Charlton
  • Back Teddy Waddy Rd, Charlton
  • View St, Charlton
  • Jollys Lane, Charlton
  • Wright St, Charlton
  • Lundly St, Charlton
  • Charlton-Glenloth Rd, Charlton
  • McGraft Rd, Wycheproof
  • Marmal North Rd, Wycheproof
  • Moresis Rd, Wycheproof
  • Donald South Rd, Donald
  • Camp St, Donald
  • Swanwater North Rd, Cope Cope
  • Gilmours Rd, Cope Cope
  • Donald-Avon Plains Rd, Donald
  • Byrne St, Donald
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