BENDIGO residents have been warned to stay vigilant about flash flooding risk, as Australia's south prepares for a forecast wet spring.
The State Emergency Service has urged the community to get ready for possible flood risk, especially those close to waterways.
It comes after the Bureau of Meteorology warned a La Nina weather system was likely to develop across Victoria, causing rainfall.
VICSES Bendigo unit controller Jason Hague said low lying areas along the creek, and parts of the city's central business district, were most at risk of flooding.
Mr Hague said Bendigo was mainly at risk from flash flooding, rather than more prolonged river overflows.
He said while the Bureau had forecasted rainfall was more likely this year, Bendigo normally had one or two heavy rainfalls in September and October regardless.
He said flash flooding was mainly caused by the drainage system, if kerbs and gutters were blocked.
Mr Hague said people should be alert for flash storms, such as big hail and thunderstorms.
He said prolonged rainfall over a period of several days in Bendigo rarely caused hassle for the SES.
"What tends to happen is we'll get a significant amount of rainfall in a very short space of time," he said.
"It's just too much for the drains to cope with. It'll sort of block up then clear relatively quickly as well."
VICSES north west community resilience coordinator Karen Dunstan urged people to be proactive about flood planning, given the increased risk this year.
Mrs Dunstan said particularly at risk of flash flooding were: Bendigo, White Hills, Long Gully, Epsom, Huntly, Ascot, Golden Square and Kangaroo Flat.
She said flash flooding typically occurred after heavy rainfall in a short period of time overwhelmed waterways.
Mr Hague urged people living in risky areas to make sure their guttering and down pipes were clear, and report any blocked kerb drains to the council.
He said if residents kept a reasonable supply of sandbags they could divert water away from their property if needed.
The SES recommends residents of Bendigo and surrounding towns:
- Note the flood history of their area
- Never drive on flooded roads
- Bag it, block it, lift it, leave, in case of major flood threat, laying sandbags, covering toilets and drains, shifting valuables to tables and benchtops, and leaving early to higher ground
- Understand flash flooding can occur quickly in at risk areas, with little warning
To find SES flood guides about your local area visit: bit.ly/Bgofloodinfo
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