Bendigo SES kept busy as storm brings heavy rain, hail to central Victoria | Photos

UPDATE Monday 8.55am: Bendigo SES received 37 calls for assistance on Sunday night.

Nine calls related to building damage, mostly water leaking through roofs and, in one instance, through windows.

Bendigo SES deputy controller Natalie Stanway said some people were able to fix such problems by cleaning gutters and fixing pipes.

There were also 26 flooding jobs, and two for fallen trees.

Ms Stanway advised that ahead of the next storm, people clean out their gutters, attend to any repairs that might be needed, and cut back trees.

While last night’s storm did not bring a lot of wind, she said it was also important to tie items such as trampolines and gazebos down.

Ms Stanway also said it was disappointing to see children playing in floodwaters, after the SES received two photos of such instances.

“We can’t stress enough how incredibly dangerous that is,” she said.

It was not only the fast-moving water that presented a hazard, she said, but what else was likely present in the water: faeces, oils, chemicals, even animals such as snakes.

“There’s a good chance they’re going to get pretty crook,” Ms Stanway said.

UPDATE Monday 7am: SES crews were kept busy last night, with the storm bringing a heavy downpour that caused flash flooding and leaking roofs.

Bendigo SES duty officer Peter McKay said the crew probably responded to about 40 jobs on Sunday night.

But because there was not too much wind, he said, there were few calls for trees or branches that had fallen.

Bendigo has received 17.8 millimetres since 9am Sunday, while Redesdale has had 25.4 millimetres.

In a warning posted to Facebook, Bendigo SES said young children had been spotted playing in flood water around the city.

“It's impossible to over state how dangerous this is!,” the post read.

“This water is flowing really quickly and there's no way a young child would be able to keep their footing in this.

“They are also likely to cop a mouthful of water which is now full of the dog poop swept up along the way, plus a few snakes that didn't make it to higher ground in time, and lots of other nasties.”

The SES warned that not only was this risking the lives of the children, but also volunteers should they need to be rescued.

UPDATE, 8pm:  Central Victoria has been soaked by heavy rain and hail.

Thunderstorms set in at about 6.40pm, leaving some houses around the region without power.

Hailstones bigger than golf balls hit Serpentine.

Big hailstones in Bears Lagoon. Picture: Adam James

Big hailstones in Bears Lagoon. Picture: Adam James

More than 12mm of rain was recorded at Bendigo Airport between 6.40pm and 7.50pm.

UPDATE, 6.40pm: An updated thunderstorm warning from the Bureau of Meteorology now includes the Bendigo region. 

BOM issued the warning at 6.14pm and forecasts severe thunderstorms that are likely to produce damaging winds, heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding and large hailstones in the warning area over the next several hours.

Locations which may be affected include Bendigo, Shepparton, Seymour, Maryborough, Melbourne and Bacchus Marsh.

The SES advises that people should: 

  • Move vehicles under cover or away from trees. 
  • Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony. 
  • Keep clear of fallen power lines. 
  • Keep clear of creeks and storm drains. 
  • Don't drive, ride or walk through flood water. 
  • 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. 
  • Stay indoors if possible. 
  • Avoid using the phone during the storm. 
  • If you are outside, avoid sheltering under trees 
  • Listen to the radio for storm updates 
  • Switch off your computer and electrical appliances 

The next warning is due to be issued by 9:15 pm.

For more details visit the BOM website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 217.

UPDATE, 2.45pm: Predicted afternoon thunderstorms are expected to avoid the Bendigo area.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a thunderstorm warning for parts of the state including Central, East Gippsland, South West, Northern Country, North East and Wimmera districts.

“Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds, heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding and large hailstones in the warning area over the next several hours,” the warning reads.

Locations which may be affected include Stawell, Ararat, Ballarat, Wodonga, Wangaratta and Bright.

The next weather warning update is due to be issued at 5.10pm.

On Facebook, numerous posts have been put up from dog owners on the Bendigo Lost Pets page as dogs escape their homes in fear of the storm this morning.

With a potential storm forecast for part of Victoria this afternoon, PetStock Bendigo store manager Caroline Bunnett said owners should prepare ahead of time.

“It really is about being prepared and taking action before the storm hits,” she said.

“Ensure your pets are microchipped, registered and have name collars so, if they do get out, people can locate the owners.”

Ms Bunnett said it is also important to know how your animal reacts to thunderstorms.

“If you have anxious dog that responds badly to thunderstorms, it is you recommend keep them inside,” she said.

“You can tether them outside but be wary that they can tangle themselves up, so make sure they are not tying themselves up.

“Some owner scan also buy calming drops and tranquil treats to calm their animals down.”

UPDATE, 1.45pm: Power has been restored to more than 2200 central Victorian residents.

The Powercor website lists outages in Eppalock, Mandurang, Newbridge, Sedwick, Myrtle Creek, Toolleen, Axedale, Cornella and Sutton Grange.

It is estimated about 200 residents remain without power. Sutton Grange is expected to have power back at 3.30pm with other subrubs estimated to have power back by 6pm.

The Bureau of Meteorology Website has listed no rain in Bendigo since 9am.

The weather reflects that in the CBD with clouds breaking up and sun shining but thunder was heard rolling around the region until lunch time.

EARLIER: Power is out in some suburbs across the Bendigo region as overnight rain continues to fall.

According to the Powercor website 2477 customers are currently with out power in the region.

Outages have affected residents in Sutton Grange, Harcourt North, Mandurang, Sedgwick, Strathfieldsaye, Emu Creek, Eaglehawk, Spring Gully, Quarry Hill and Flora Hill.

Powercor is listing Eaglehawk’s restoration time as 10.30am but residents in all other affected suburbs may be waiting until 1pm for power to be restored.

Almost 2mm of rains has fallen since 2am this morning. CFA and SES spokespeople said there had been no call-outs for emergency crews this morning.

There are no storm warnings listed on the Bureau of Meteorlogy website but bursts of thunder and lightning have also rang out this morning waking some residents.

The BOM forecast says scattered showers and thunderstorms will be more isolated in the northwest and clear in the far west by the late afternoon.

More severe thunderstorms may occur in central and eastern districts during the afternoon and evening with locally damaging winds, heavy rainfall and hail possible.

Temperatures will remain humid and warm to hot with light to moderate northerly winds.