The storm heading toward Melbourne, after Cyclone Yasi, 6 February 2011. Nick McGrath

Peter Munro and Mark Russell, with Ruth Williams and Anna Whitelaw
February 6, 2011

VICTORIANS have been warned to prepare for more wild weather as flash flooding and storms wreaked havoc across the state, ripping roofs from buildings, tearing up trees and closing roads, schools and churches.

Driving rain and winds of more than 130km/h battered much of the state on Friday night and Saturday morning, cutting power to more than 32,000 homes, crippling public transport and forcing the rescue of 90 people from flooded cars and homes.

About 50 patients were evacuated from the Koo Wee Rup Hospital, east of Melbourne, last night as the Lower Bunyip River's water levels continued to rise after exceeding predicted flood levels of 7.2 metres.

About 6000 residents of Koo Wee Rup and nearby towns Iona, Coralynn and Bayles were also told to evacuate their homes by 9.30 last night as they faced ''inundation and isolation'', according to the SES. …

Residents in Rochester, south of Echuca, were bracing last night for what could be their fourth severe flood since September.

Flash flood emergency warnings and river flood warnings remained in place around much of the state. Major flood warnings have been issued for the Loddon River and Dandenong Creek.

Victoria was lashed by the tail of cyclone Yasi, which moved inland and south after devastating the Queensland coast.

Melbourne's south-eastern suburbs were among the worst-affected, with Lyndhurst recording 181 millimetres of rain in the 30 hours to 3pm yesterday. Melbourne's CBD copped 83 millimetres. A record rainfall of 174 millimetres in Mildura, in the state's north-west, reportedly left vineyards waist-deep in water. There were ''hailstones as big as golf balls''.

In Melbourne's outer west, the powerful storm split tree trunks and ripped the roof from a church in Altona Meadows, strewing insulation batts across the pews and altar.

Dead birds at the air force base at Laverton, Victoria, Australia, after Cyclone Yasi. Meredith O'Shea

Australian Defence Force members cleared pine trees at RAAF Williams Laverton base, where flocks of ibis were killed by 132km/h winds.

The surging storm tore the top from Arthur Tsiavis's construction factory at Laverton, sending corrugated iron and shattered glass across the Princes Freeway. ''It's a disaster, it's destroyed,'' he said. ''There is nothing left.''

State Emergency Service crews were stretched to the limit with almost 6000 calls for help, including 4100 in Melbourne, by yesterday afternoon. …

Flash flooding in Melbourne's west and south-east closed the Monash Freeway and Princes Highway, causing traffic jams up to 10 kilometres long. Several train lines were closed. …

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Terry Ryan said the ''unprecedented'' movement of cyclone Yasi inland to the Northern Territory, combined with a longer cloud band caused by ex-cyclone Anthony, had produced a humid and unstable air mass over Victoria. ''We've never seen anything like it in Australia,'' he said.

A cold front crossing Victoria was expected to bring more rain before clearing later today, the bureau said.

The latest storms followed statewide flooding in January that cost an estimated $6 billion in damages and lost productivity, and flash flooding last September.

Victoria swamped: storm wreaks havoc

The floodwaters rose too quickly for this cyclist near the Mullum Mullum Creek, in Melbourne's eastern suburbs. Mike Glover /

6 Feb 2011 (ABC) -- A massive buildup of stormwater in the north-west of the Australian state of Victoria has caused more evacuations.

Flood warnings for rivers in other parts of the state have now been downgraded.

Pumps in flooded streets at Irymple near Mildura, have failed, as stormwater continues to build after a series of flood events.

The latest delivered a supercell storm with up to 250 millimetres of rain.

80 homes are being evacuated and authorities are warning residents the water is likely to be contaminated with sewage.

At least a dozen homes in Skipton, south-west of Ballarat, are also under threat, but hydrologist Philip Douglas says major flood fears for alpine and northern rivers have not been realised.

The flood threat has eased in Rochester, where the Campaspe River is expected to reach only moderate levels tonight.

Evacuations in parts of Australian state of Victoria

Flash flooding hits Melbourne, 4 February 2011. RAW VIDEO: A sudden downpour of rain flooded parts of Melbourne's CBD on Friday night, catching many unprepared. / Fairfax Media News

By Allyson Fonseca
February 6, 2011 - 9:23PM

SUNRAYSIA is counting the cost of the weekend's deluge which left 200 homes awash, crops inundated and sewage-contaminated-water posing a health risk in unsewered areas.

Rapid assessment teams moved into the region yesterday to assess the damage after falls of up to 250 millimetres over the weekend.

Flood-affected people seeking Government assistance should go to the recovery centre at the Salvation Army centre on the corner of Fourteenth Street and Etiwanda Avenue.

Mildura Rural City mayor John Arnold said council has set up a recovery centre with assistance from Centrelink to assist people financially.

"We encourage people to go to the recovery centre and register, if they been inundated, whether they need assistance or not," Cr Arnold said. …

"We request people to keep out of the flood waters because, in some areas, it has been contaminated with raw sewage and could cause health problems."

Mr Arnold said some sewage had escaped from flooded septic tanks and, in some cases, had entered irrigation channels.

He stressed drinking water was safe, but locals should avoid swimming in contaminated waterways.

Irymple's Verna Monaghan, 74, said: "My house got filled up with water on Saturday morning and sewage was coming up through the bathroom." …

Massive mop-up in Mildura



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