Deluge causes flood havoc across central Victoria

HEAVY weekend rain has caused flood havoc, inundating low level areas and causing scores of roads to be closed.The downpour brought flash flooding throughout central Victoria, and Charlton residents were put on a major flood alert with fears that the Avoca river would peak early this morning. SES crews were on standby last night ready to sandbank affected areas.There were also concerns that the Loddon River would flood yesterday afternoon.The Bridgewater-Ser­pen­tine road was closed, along with the Loddon Valley Highway north of Serpentine and at the Bridgewater-Raywood road.The rain kept the North West region SES busy, with residents struggling to cope with flooding.City of Greater Bendigo personnel worked over the weekend attending to road closures and flash flooding of property.Castlemaine recorded 56mm, Blue Mountain had a huge 104mm, Maryborough was soaked with 87mm, Redesdale received 88mm and Kyneton recorded 83mm.By Saturday morning, Bendigo had received its September average, recording 51mm.The rain caused the BFNL finals and local children’s sport to be called off.Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Peter Blake said such floods were likely once a decade, but given the past five years this had been a significant event.“It’s not as bad as some of the areas in the North East, but for Bendigo it is a lot of rain.“All of the dams and catchments will be well and truly full.”Mr Blake said residents should brace for more rain later in the week, but it would be nowhere near that experienced at the weekend.He said farmers could look forward to a good spring with above-average rain.Last night Loddon Weir was at 5.43 metres and was expected to exceed mod­erate flood level – six metres – later last night.The Campaspe River at Barnadown peaked at 4.82 metres about midnight on Saturday. It was at 3.52 metres at 7am on Sunday and falling, and was expected to remain below minor flood level.

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