The Bureau of Meteorology has warned that Victoria could be hit by even more downpours in the coming days as at least 1,000 homes are flooded or closed by flooding.
Despite easing conditions and a predicted wet weather postponement for days, waters are expected to rise further in the coming hours and the ground will be “incredibly wet.”
It comes as thousands of inner-city Melbourne residents were evacuated on Friday as entire streets of Marbiyrnong turned into rivers, with property and cars submerged.
Meanwhile, major flood warnings were issued this afternoon for the Werribee and Yarra rivers, more than 4,000 homes in the state are without power and SES crews have conducted more than 200 rescue operations.
Speaking at an emergency press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Daniel Andrews warned that the high water will “not reach its peak.”
“Then there’s the other problem of showers forecasted in the coming weeks and of course the ground was already soaked before these last few days of record rainfall,” he said.
“We know that even moderate rain showers in the coming weeks will be a real challenge for us as well. So this will be with all of us for a while.’
Lifeboat was the only way to get in and out of many downtown Maribyrnong streets on Friday
Residents of the city of Rochester spent Friday evacuated pets from flooded properties
Parts of Victoria and Tasmania will remain under surveillance from flooding in the coming days as conditions ease
At least 500 homes in the state have been flooded, while another 500 have been cut off. Those numbers are almost certain to rise – with flooding in Shepparton and Wangaratta set to peak this weekend.
As conditions ease, the Bureau of Meteorology warned that the flood crisis is still “highly evolving.”
“We’re looking at a new low, possibly developing over South Australia on Monday and Tuesday of next week,” meteorologist Diane Eadie said.
Where that heavy rain goes is highly dependent on the movement of this system.’
“For Victoria, we could see some more rain in northern parts from Wednesday (next week) through Thursday and Friday.
“But at this stage we are rather on the periphery of that system. That said, the terrain is incredibly wet.”
Local residents kept an eye on things Friday at the partially flooded Anglers Tavern in Maribyrnong
Strathbogie North, in the northeast of Melbourne, has seen the most rain in recent days at 224mm, followed by Charnwood (210mm), 171mm over the Central Highlands at Avalon Station and 166mm at Seymour.
The SES has responded to more than 2,600 requests for assistance in 24 hours and has conducted at least 200 rescue operations in the past two days.
More than 1,500 Victorians requested an emergency payment within hours of the Friday morning announcement of the one-time payments.
Affected adults are each eligible for a payment of $560 with an additional $280 per child.
“We’re processing it as quickly as we can,” said Mr Andrews.
Meanwhile, the federal government keeps the state Mickleham Covid-19 quarantine hub opened as temporary accommodation for flood victims.
“We are making the necessary arrangements as we believe there is every chance in the coming days that we will have to accommodate people in that Mickleham facility,” said Mr Andrews.
The Esplanade in downtown Melbourne is one of dozens of Maribyrnong streets turned into rivers
Opposition leader Matthew Guy called on the state government to declare a natural disaster in flood-stricken areas.
“The scenes of flooding in our state, reaching virtually to the center of Melbourne, are devastating,” he said.
“It is clear that affected communities, families and small businesses need immediate relief, as well as longer term support to recover,” Mr Guy said.
Emergency authorities have yet to declare a natural disaster.
“This is a major emergency for the State of Victoria and in support of it, the State Control Center. We have activated our highest level of preparedness at level three and we will continue at level three for the foreseeable future,” said Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says his heart goes out to Victorians affected by the flood crisis and has spoken with Prime Minister Andrews to offer support.
“There will be a request for support there,” said Mr. Albanese.
“There are already ADF personnel on the ground in Victoria who are providing that support and assistance.”
An inner-city suburb just 7km from the Melbourne CBD has been inundated with flooding. Pictured is an elderly resident of Maribyrnong being helped to higher ground
This dog was relieved to be taken to dry land by SES workers in Maribyrnong, Melbourne
FOUR DAY WEATHER FORECAST
Friday: Showers, then mostly sunny. Max24
Saturday: Mostly sunny.Min13Max22
Sunday: Showers increase. Min14Max22
Monday: Showers. Min14Max20
Friday: A few showers.Max18
Saturday: Partly cloudy.Min9 Max18
Sunday: Shower or two. Min10 Max19
Monday: Mostly sunny.Min9 Max18
Friday: Mostly sunny. Max21
Saturday: sunny. Min8 Max23
Sunday: Partly cloudy. Min8 Max21
Monday: Mostly sunny. Min9 Max22
Friday: Possible morning showers, clear. Max17
Saturday: Partly cloudy.Min9Max19
Sunday: Sunny.Min9 Max21
Monday: Mostly sunny. Min11 Max25
Saturday: Shower or two. Min9 Max16
Sunday: Possible shower. Min6 Max16
Monday: Shower or two. Min7 Max15
Friday: Early rain, afternoon showers. Max16
Saturday: Mostly sunny. Min4 Max20
Sunday: Partly cloudy. Min5 Max20
Monday: Shower or two. Min7 Max19
Friday: Possible shower.Max28
Saturday: Mostly sunny.Min17 Max27
Sunday: Mostly sunny.Min16 Max25
Monday: Shower or two.Min17 Max25
DARWIN Friday: Shower or two. Max34
Saturday: Shower or two. Possible thunderstorm. Min26 Max35
Sunday: sunny. Min26 Max35
Monday: Mostly sunny.Min27 Max35