Bendigo awash: Live coverage

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TUESDAY 7.30AM: THE City of Greater Bendigo has defended its drainage design for the Mitchell Street redevelopment as a Bath Lane trader takes the council to task over flood damage.

Director of presentation and assets Darren Fuzzard said the area was designed the drainage heavily in mind.

"The design appears to be appropriate for that area," he said.

"It appears there does need to be further investigation into what happened on Friday, however."

PepperPot owner Shane Robertson blamed the lowering of Bath Lane for the water that inundated his shop, damaging floorboards and stock.

Mayor Peter Cox said the council would have to look at Bath Lane "very closely" after the flash flooding event and compile a comprehensive report.

MONDAY 3.55PM: THE City of Greater Bendigo is calling on residents and businesses to get in touch to help form an accurate overview of Friday's flash flooding event.

The council is compiling a report to help guide its priorities as it continues to prioritise flood mitigation projects.

Mayor Peter Cox said the rain event could be used to create a more flood-free city.

"The information is also important for assisting the city when prioritising funding for future drainage improvement works," he said.

"Friday's downpour, with reports of over 80 millimetres in a short period of time, was a serious test for the city's stormwater drainage infrastructure."

Seventeen council buildings received some form of water damage, including Bendigo Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Oval clubrooms, North Bendigo social rooms and the Visitor Information Centre.

Director of planning and development Prue Mansfield said flood maintenance works in recent years had decreased the impact on buildings.

"The number of building affected could have been much higher if not for the ongoing preventive maintenance programs the city undertakes each year," she said.

The council can be contacted on 5434 6000.

MONDAY 2.30PM: THE City of Greater Bendigo says Friday's flash flooding highlights the need for council to push on with a remaining $48 million backlog of works.

The council held a media briefing on Monday afternoon to outline the impact of the flood, the progress of flood mitigation works and the overall response to calls for assistance.

North Central Catchment Management Authority showed rainfall data that indicated Maiden Gully and Golden Square were the worst hit areas.

The suburbs recorded between 80 and 90 millimetres of rain in half an hour.

Nolan Street, Bay Street and Pioneer Drive were the three areas of most concern.

The CMA described the rainfall as less than one per cent chance to occur each year, or a one-in-one-hundred year rainfall event.

Mayor Peter Cox spoke of $22 million of works already completed from the $70 million backlog of flood works.

On Friday, the council responded to 167 requests from the Bendigo community directly related to the flood.

MONDAY 10.51AM: The City of Greater Bendigo will address media today at 1.30pm in relation to the floods. We'll post updates on what officers say as soon as we can. 

MONDAY 7.53AM: This pic was just too good to resist adding it to our flood coverage...

SUNDAY 4.30pm: The Bureau of Meteorology has downgraded its forecast for the coming days with rainfall over 25 millimetres now looking less likely.

Bureau duty forecaster Keris Arndt said steady rain was expected to reach Bendigo late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

"We should get a fair dumping but not necessarily the flash flooding that we saw on Friday," he said.

Click here to read more.

SUNDAY 1PM: A Bath Lane business owner who suffered water damage on Friday has blamed the redevelopment of Mitchell Street. Click here to read his story.

SATURDAY 4.52PM: Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters was one of the many residents whose homes were damaged by flooding during Friday's deluge.

"We had a tree branch come down the other day and the SES said there were some cracked tiles on the roof which may have caused the leak," she said.

"We didn't have power last night so we stayed elsewhere because it was just too unsafe."

Ms Chesters praised the quick response of the SES to what she said could only be described as an internal water feature in the dining room of her Kennington home.

"The SES were just phenomenal, they responded within a couple of hours of our call and were so professional and helpful and gave us the advice we needed," she said.

"The advice that the SES gave us was spot on - don't get up on your roof because you just don’t know what damage there is."

"I cannot thank them enough for what they've done, not just for me but for all the other community members they helped."

SATURDAY, 3PM: The flooded area in Victoria Lane, Eaglehawk is now clear, after council officers removed the grate that was blocking the flow of water last night.

City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Peter Cox said the street was one of the hardest hit areas in Bendigo.

"The difficulty is that I think the railways had an issue with children playing in the drain because you could just walk into it," he said.

"I know it has been very disappointing for the residents because it did flood in 2009, I think, and it's there again, so that's very disappointing and we need to address that, and that'll be a joint effort between council and the railways.

"Council officers have been out to the two units that have been inundated giving support."

The brother of one of the residents whose home was flooded, Glen Rankin, said the water had fully receded and the clean up had gone as well as could be expected.

"We've been there since 9am and a team showed up and we've just cleaned everything out and the water has subsided, once that grate was gone it just took off," he said.

"We got there this morning and the SES had sandbagged up in case we got more rain. We totally stripped the joint and boxed everything up ready to move into storage.

"The poor fellow next door, he's lost everything too, and he hasn't got much, so we need to do something for him, that's the next step.

"Something does have to be done so it won't happen again."

SATURDAY, 2pm: In the past 24 hours, the Bureau of Meteorology has recorded:

39mm of rainfall at Bendigo;

55mm at Strathfieldsaye;

22mm at Raywood;

27mm at Heathcote;

33mm at Redesdale;

24mm at Castlemaine;

22mm at Maryborough;

20mm at Wedderburn;

17mm at Charlton;

7mm at Echuca; and

8.6mm at Rochester.

What have you recorded? Let us know by finding us on Facebook, tweeting @BgoAddy or emailing 

A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall is still in place for people in the Northern Country, North Central, North East, West and South Gippsland and East Gippsland forecast districts.

"Rain and isolated thunderstorms which may lead to flash flooding are forecast for the North East and East Gippsland forecast districts and eastern parts of the Northern Country, North Central and West and South Gippsland forecast districts," the Bureau of Meteorology advises.

"The severe weather warning for the Mallee and Wimmera forecast districts has been cancelled, but the situation will continue to be monitored and further warnings will be issued if necessary."

SATURDAY, 1.20PM: The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a "flood watch" message for the Campaspe, Loddon, Avoca and Wimmera Basins.

A flood watch is also in place for Goulburn and Broken Basins, which you can read here.

The Campaspe, Loddon, Avoca and Wimmera Basins flood watch is a heads-up for possible future flooding and is NOT a flood warning, the bureau advises.

"A low pressure trough will linger near the NSW border during today," the message reads. 

"A low pressure system will develop over central Australia by late Sunday then intensify as it moves southeast, crossing the state early next week.

"In the 24 hours to 9am Saturday rainfall totals of 30-50mm have been recorded in the Campaspe, Loddon, Avoca and Wimmera catchments.

"Rainfall totals of up to 5mm are expected for the rest of Saturday into Sunday. Further rainfall totals of up to 50mm have been forecast for Monday into Tuesday.

"With the recorded and forecast rainfall stream rises are expected with the possibility of areas of minor flooding developing early next week, mainly in the Campaspe and Loddon catchments.

"The Bureau of Meteorology is continuing to monitor the situation and will issue catchment specific warnings if and when required.

"Note: This flood watch means that people living or working along rivers and streams must monitor the latest weather forecasts and warnings and be ready to move to higher ground should flooding develop. Flood warnings will be issued if minor flood level is expected to be exceeded at key sites along the main rivers for which the Bureau of Meteorology provides a flood warning service. 

"In the interests of community safety the SES suggests following precautions:

"Don't walk, ride or drive through floodwater,

"Don't allow children to play in floodwater,

"Stay away from waterways and stormwater drains, and

"Keep well clear of fallen power lines

"Current Emergency Information is available at

"For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.

"The SES advises that rainfall run-off into waterways in recent fire affected areas may contain debris such as soil, ash, trees and rocks. People in fire affected areas should also be alert to the potential for landslide and debris on roads."



THE SES has issued advice for people in Bendigo. 

"Many of the calls we had over the last 24 hours have been requests for sandbags or assistance in laying them," the message reads.

"Now is the time for you to go to your local hardware store and buy your sandbags - you'll have them on hand for the next lot of rain, and have them ready to use well before we could get a crew to you.

"We had 160 calls last night - we simply can't reach everyone at once.

"Use the link to see instructions on the right way to lay sandbags to protect your home.

"Be prepared - protect your property."

HAVE YOU SANDBAGGED YOUR HOUSE? If so, let us know by calling 5434 4482. 


COLES in Lyttleton Terrace is open and functioning as normal today following water damage on Friday.

Myer Bendigo is also open. 

SATURDAY 10.54am: Keep the rain totals coming - We're compiling them all by suburb here.

Did you record how much you had or take any snaps? We'd love to hear/see them - find us on Facebook, tweet us at @BgoAddy or email 

SATURDAY 10.26am: The wet weather is continuing to wreak havoc across the region...

SATURDAY 10.20am: How much rain did you get?

While the Bureau of Meteorology may have recorded 38.4mm of rain officially, we're after the region's "unofficial" rain totals.

Did you record how much you had or take any snaps? We'd love to hear/see them - find us on Facebook, tweet us at @BgoAddy or email 

And here are some totals we've already got...


BENDIGO has received 38.4 millimetres of rain since 9am on Friday. 

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Michael Halfpenny said rain would continue across the weekend and early into next week but the heaviest of falls had past. 

"It will tend to clear on Saturday and more rain is likely on Sunday," he said.

"However the heaviest of the rain has passed."


NOLAN Street alongside the Bendigo Tennis Complex is closed to motorists as City of Greater Bendigo contractors work to clear a drain. 

Workers try to unblock a drain in Nolan Street near the Bendigo Tennis Complex. Picture: PETER WEAVING

Workers try to unblock a drain in Nolan Street near the Bendigo Tennis Complex. Picture: PETER WEAVING

The section of street is expected to be closed for more than an hour. 

A blue vehicle remains water logged. 


POLICE are urging motorists to take care on central Victoria roads this weekend, with wet weather conditions expected to continue. 

Bendigo Highway Patrol Acting Sergeant Peter Bullock said motorists should allow for an increased distance between their vehicle the one in front. 

"Motorists need to know stopping distance needs to increase. Instead of leaving a two second gap, you need to leave a four second gap," he said.

Acting Sergeant Bullock said motorists should avoid driving through flood water.

"Signs are in place for a reason," he said.

"If they are there then obey them, even if there are no SES or police there.

"You don't know how deep the road is or if part of it has washed away."


THE State Emergency Service will remain on high alert this weekend following a deluge which led to flash flooding around parts of Bendigo and Marong on Friday. 

SES media liaison Natalie Stanway said crews responded to 160 calls for assistance from 3.30pm, with help from local CFA brigades. 

"We had water coming in through roofs and flash flooding in yards," Ms Stanway said.

"We had one call to a tree down which was in a high speed zone area."

Ms Stanway said fire brigades assisted with sandbagging across Bendigo, including Maiden Gully. 

She said property owners should use this morning's lull in rain to ensure their properties were prepared for more severe weather. 

"It was a very heavy, short lived downpour and whether that was because there was too much water or the gutters and drains were blocked is unclear," she said.

"So people should check their gutters, make sure they are clear so that the flow of water is not impeded."

SATURDAY, 6.30AM: Bendigo will today begin counting the cost of the deluge that hit the city at 3pm on Friday.

Insurance assessors will need to look at businesses in Lansell Square, Bendigo Marketplace and the central business district of Bendigo, along with units in Victoria Lane, Eaglehawk.

The City of Greater Bendigo will also review drainage after Mayor Peter Cox called on anyone affected by storm water to contact the city in the wake of claims a blocked drain caused some flooding.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning at 4.52am today.

''A rain-band is likely to extend across northern Victoria on Saturday, producing locally heavy falls, particularly about the ranges and in the northwest,'' the warning reads.

''Thunderstorms and heavy rain which may lead to FLASH FLOODING are forecast for the Mallee, Northern Country, North Central and North East forecast districts and parts of the Wimmera, West and South Gippsland and East Gippsland forecast districts.''

The State Emergency Service advises:

Don't drive, ride or walk through flood water

Keep clear of creeks and storm drains

For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your SES Unit on 132 500

An updated warning will be issued by 11am.

The official bureau reading for Bendigo shows 36.6mm of rain  has fallen on the city since 9am Friday.

Unofficial reports sent to the Bendigo Advertiser show 66mm in Kangaroo Flat and 71mm in Bendigo.

Flooding in Victoria Lane, Eaglehawk. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Flooding in Victoria Lane, Eaglehawk. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY


Here's the stories produced by the Bendigo Advertiser during and after the deluge


UPDATE 11PM: The Bureau of Meteorology has cancelled severe thunderstorm warnings for Victoria.

''The immediate threat of severe thunderstorms has passed, but the situation will continue to be monitored and further warnings will be issued if necessary,'' the bureau said.

To see more pictures and videos sent in by readers of the big deluge click here

UPDATE 9PM: Residents in Victoria Lane, Eaglehawk, continue to clean up flood damaged units after the deluge.

The lane has emerged as one of the hardest hit areas after the storm.

Residents said it was the second time in five years that a blocked drain beside the railway line had caused the flash flooding after it was covered with a grate to prevent children from entering.

Victoria Lane resident Jason Hill said the grate was often clogged with debris which meant the low lying street failed to drain properly.

"As soon as we get a heavy rain within two hours at the maximum it gets to this level," he said.

Mr Hill estimated the water level was at well over his head at its highest point.

DAMAGE: Laurie Fitzgerald surveys the flood damage to his unit in Victoria Lane, Eaglehawk. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

DAMAGE: Laurie Fitzgerald surveys the flood damage to his unit in Victoria Lane, Eaglehawk. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

UPDATE 8.40PM: The State Emergency Service attended more than 100 call outs in the aftermath of the Bendigo deluge.

SES spokesperson Natalie Stanway said volunteers were brought in from Dunolly and Castlemaine to help the service meet demand.

She said a majority of the call outs were for roof and structural damage.

The SES has not been called on to perform any rescues.

Ms Stanway urged people to be cautious with another storm predicted for Bendigo before midnight.

To read the full story click here

UPDATE: 7.10PM: The Bureau of Meteorology has just issued another severe thunderstorm warning for Bendigo.

''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. Locations which may be affected include Mallacoota, Bendigo, Kerang, Rochester, Seymour and Euroa,'' the warning reads. 

UPDATE 7.01pm: The bowling greens at Kangaroo Flat also went under water this afternoon.

Jim Fisher said play was abandoned just after 3pm.

"The rain just came pummeling down," he said.

"The greens just look like a swimming pool."

The flooded A bowling green at Station Street, Kangaroo Flat. Picture: Jim Fisher

The flooded A bowling green at Station Street, Kangaroo Flat. Picture: Jim Fisher

UPDATE 6.45PM: The occupants of a unit in Victoria Lane, Eaglehawk, are counting the cost of the deluge.

The occupants are presently removing furniture from the unit after water rushed into the premises during the storm.

The rain was inches deep in the unit and knee deep in the rear yard.

UPDATE 6.30PM: Streets in the Bendigo city centre are almost dry now as evidence of the big deluge has all but disappeared.

The Bureau of Meteorology radar shows more rain on the way with extremely heavy falls presently in South Australia.

UPDATE 5.31pm: Residents have reported houses flooding in Victoria Lane, Eaglehawk. 

UPDATE 5.50pm: Staff at Bendigo Marketplace Big W have reported their staff room is inaccessible due to water damage.

Staff are working to clear the water at the store.

Water was also pouring out of five light fittings in front of Wendys, near the food court. Wheelie bins have been positioned under the water. 

UPDATE 5.11pm: The NAB on the corner of Mitchell and Queen streets is also closed due to storm damage.

Bargain Buys temporary manager Stacey Diss assesses the damage.

Bargain Buys temporary manager Stacey Diss assesses the damage.

UPDATE 5.10pm: The roof has collapsed outside the Bargain Buys store in Queen Street, Bendigo.

There are live wires hanging from the roof in the street and Powercor is on site trying to fix the issue. 

Temporary manager Stacey Diss said the plumbing couldn't cope with the deluge and water pooled on the roof. 

When it eventually caved, a woman was walking into the store, Ms Diss said.

"I managed to grab her out of the way just in time."

The woman wasn't hurt, just "scared, unbelievably scared", Ms Diss said.

"The whole roof leaked from the middle to the store room," she said.

"The whole shop is leaking water all over the floor."

Ms Diss believed the store would have to close for possibly a week to repair the damage.

UPDATE: 4.50PM: A number of intersections around Bendigo were flooded this afternoon due to rainfall which reached 18 millimetres between 3.30pm and 4.30pm.

At least three shops in Lansell Square suffered water damage due to multiple leaks and the Liquorland store was flooded after clay coloured water flowed in from the car park outside.

The ceiling had also caved in outside the EB Games store and was being repaired by staff.

An employee of a nearby store said she’d hear the incident before she’d seen it.

“I just heard a big gush and came out,” she said.

The synthetic soccer pitch at Bendigo South East Secondary College was partially flooded, with water cascading through the soccer goals from the car park on Sharon Street after the dam near the school's stadium overflowed.

Water rushes down View Street, Bendigo. Picture: BUBBA HOWE

Water rushes down View Street, Bendigo. Picture: BUBBA HOWE

UPDATE 4.35PM: Cotton On, Cotton On Kids and The Body Shop in Hargreaves Mall are all closed.

The storm water drain in Killian’s Walk overflowed, pouring water into Hargreaves Mall.

Water leaked through the roof and walls of the Commonwealth Bank in the mall, but there was no disruption to business.

Banjo’s Bakehouse, which adjoins the bank, also had minor water leakages..

Peter Anthony Menswear is also closed due to water damage.

Neighbouring store Bendigo Original Pie Shop had no problems due to a new roof being installed three years ago.

Co-owner Phil McKee said they were "very happy" with the new roof and excellent drainage.

"The rain's quite incredible, it's really welcome."

He said he hadn't seen heavy rain like it since the drought-breaking rain of 2009/10 when it flooded the entire store.

"Rain was pouring out of the air-conditioner and down the walls."

UPDATE 4.20PM: Coles Bendigo has been forced to close as staff tend to flooding in the store.

Staff can be seen inside the store using mops to tend to flooding.

The stairs of the Coles Bendigo carpark have turned into a waterfall.

Bendigo Toyota at Epsom also sustained a small amount of water damage in the main showroom.

Holdsworth Road resident Tony Pangallo is dealing with a river of water flowing through his yard from a nearby creek.

Mr Pangallo said this was not the first time the flooding had happened.

Tony Pangallo watches water flow through the yard of his Holdsworth Road home from a nearby creek. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Tony Pangallo watches water flow through the yard of his Holdsworth Road home from a nearby creek. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

UPDATE 4.10PM: Cars are stranded in the carpark of the Nolan Street Tennis Complex near Lake Weeroona.

Bolts of lightning are flashing over Bendigo with thunder.

The official Bureau of Meteorolgy observations show 15 millimetres of rain has fallen in the city between 3.32pm and 4pm.

UPDATE 4.05PM: The Myer store in the Hargreaves Mall has been evacuated due to flooding.

Sportspower in Hargreaves Street has also reported water damage through the roof.

Kangaroo Flat resident Alan Besley reports a river of water running down Amara Way with 54mm of rain falling between 2pm and 4pm.

UPDATE 3.50PM: The changerooms at the Queen Elizabeth Oval are under water.

Bendigo Advertiser sports editor Adam Bourke reports at least 30 centimetres of water is covering the floor.

Play in the Australian Country Cricket Championships match between Victoria Country and Queensland has been abandoned.

Reports are also of water over the road in Garsed Street and Holdsworth Road.

UPDATE 3.45PM: A deluge of rain is falling on central Bendigo.

Gutters are overflowing.

A resident has reported part of the roof at Lansell Square had been damaged.

Witnesses sent in photos of a metre by metre piece of ceiling that has fallen after being damaged by rain.

Water is leaking into the arcade out the front of EB Games.

UPDATE 3.30pm: Bendigo is expected to see up 30 millimetres of rain by midnight tonight as thunderstorms close in on the city.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Stephen King said heavy rain would persist right through the weekend and into next week with between 75 and 100 millimetres of rain predicted over the next few days.

“Once tonight and tomorrow comes around and the rain is more widespread and persistent we’ll see those rainfall totals really start to build up,” he said.

UPDATE 2.03pm: Now that's more like it! Heavier rain is now falling in the CBD. Is it raining at your place?

UPDATE 1.45pm: Bendigo has had its first pitter patter of rain - but it only lasted a few minutes.

UPDATE 12.30pm: The severe weather warning for heavy rainfall is still in place for Bendigo despite no rain falling in the city yet.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued the warning for people in the Mallee, Wimmera, Northern Country, North Central, North East, Central, West and South Gippsland and East Gippsland forecast districts

To see which forecast district you are in, click here.

A screenshot from the Bureau of Meteorology website.

A screenshot from the Bureau of Meteorology website.

"A low pressure trough will linger near the NSW border today. A rain-band with embedded thunderstorms is likely to extend from the northwest through central areas to Gippsland on Friday. The system is only likely to contract slowly to the northeast during the Friday, producing local heavy falls, particularly about the ranges and in the northwest," the warning reads. 

"A rain-band with embedded thunderstorms and heavy rain may lead to FLASH FLOODING on Friday over parts of the Wimmera, Mallee and Northern Central, Northern Country, North East, Central, West and South Gippsland and East Gippsland forecast districts.

"The SES advises that rainfall run-off into waterways in recent fire affected areas may contain debris such as soil, ash, trees and rocks. People in fire affected areas should also be alert to the potential for landslide and debris across roads."

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:

Don't drive, ride or walk through flood water.

Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.

For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.

UPDATE 12pm: No rain has fallen yet in Bendigo, but it's still forecast.

There's a 90 per cent chance of rainfall in the city, and 20-40mm is likely.

Over the next four days, we're expected to get between 50mm to 100mm - but where is it?

UPDATE, 8.22am:

The SES is urging residents to be prepared in the event of flash flooding in parts of central Victoria today. 

Natalie Stanway said people should ensure their gutters and cleared and loose objects in their backyard are tied down and secured. 

"Bendigo is typically known for flash flooding. Unfortunately this means we usually get a high volume of calls in a short period of time," she said. 

"It's difficult for us to offer assistance to everyone immediately. The best thing you can do is be prepared."

UPDATE, 8.19am:  

Tonight's Music in the Parks at the Bendigo Botanic Gardens has been moved to the Bendigo Town Hall due to the possibility of rain. 

All Day Fritz and Pearly Shells will begin their performances at 6pm. 

Kelsey Taylor braces for rain. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Kelsey Taylor braces for rain. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY


THE Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for rainfall in parts of central Victoria.

The warning encompasses northern country and north central forecast districts.

A rain band with embedded thunderstorms and heavy rain may lead to flash flooding on Friday over parts of central Victoria. 

Forecasters have predicted falls of between 50mm and 80mm across north and north-east Victoria between Thursday and Sunday, with up to 100mm forecast in the ranges. 

While Bendigo is likely to be on the fringe of the rain, it could still exceed January's monthly average rainfall of 32mm, meteorologists say. 

Got any weather photos? Send them to 


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