Deluge misses Bendigo, but not by much

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Less than 30 millimetres of rain has fallen in Bendigo, despite dire warnings in the lead up to the storm that lashed the state at the weekend.

Bendigo and central Victoria were predicted to face three-day totals of 100 to 200 millimetres of rain, beginning on Friday.

Residents sandbagged homes and events were cancelled as central Victorians were told to prepare for a storm that could put lives at risk.

While the city escaped without incident, further north, towns such as Echuca and Kerang saw flash-flooding and record-breaking rain.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Rod Dickson said Bendigo missed out, but not by much, with the predicted low developing a little bit further east of the city.

“Bendigo for the last three days has recorded 27mm of rainfall, with the heaviest rain falling further east,” he said on Sunday afternoon.

“Further east there were totals up to 60 to 100mm; further north up at Echuca they had 123mm in the 24 hours to 9am Saturday and 139mm in total, which was record rainfall for anytime of the year.”

Fifteen houses and 10 businesses were impacted by flooding in Echuca, with one supermarket extensively damaged.

The bulk of the rain fell late Friday night and into Saturday, making it a long night for State Emergency Service volunteers.

The north-east of the state was worst hit during the deluge, with totals of more than 200mm forcing people from their homes.

Bureau defends dire weather warnings

State weather bureau manager Dr Andrew Tupper said the event was pretty much as forecast, despite many areas not receiving the predicted lashing.

Coming up with an accurate weather prediction up to four days in advance of a storm was always difficult, he said, and not unlike forecasting the location and speed of a tropical cyclone, where forecasts can often change.

"I guess the good news is, from the Melbourne perspective in particular and those in western Victoria, the event hasn't affected that area as much,” he said.

"But, despite all the disruption of preparation - we know that events have been cancelled and people have put in a lot of work - it was certainly the kind of event worth preparing for. 

“So, if we had our time again, yes, we would put out an event with similar language to that."

On Thursday, Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Scott Williams warned: "It is an event that poses a threat to life, there will be a massive amount of lightning, there will be roads cut, flood waters."

"This is a vast, intense, high impact event for this state."

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said it was still appropriate to issue warnings for the entire state.

"We've done, with the forecast that was put to us, the best we can to warn the whole of the Victorian community, because there was rain across Victoria, and I think we've done that," he said.

"We've seen rain move across Victoria - and in some cases exactly what the forecast said, in others it hasn't been exactly. However, I think the figures that are there today show that we've had significant rain."

Assistance for people affected by flood

Victorians affected by the severe weather can access joint state and federal government disaster assistance, with up to $1890 per household.

People in the Alpine and Strathbogie local government areas can claim up to $540 per adult and $270 per child to help meet immediate needs, including emergency food, shelter, clothing, and personal items.

Anyone who has been affected by the severe weather and is suffering personal hardship and distress should contact their local relief centre or call the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226.