Victoria’s flood emergency has claimed a second life, a 20-year-old woman whose body was found in the state’s south-west.
Victoria's flood emergency has claimed a second life, a 20-year-old woman whose body was found in the state's south-west.
Friends and family have paid tribute to flood victims Nina Barake and Brian Gilliland as storms ravaged the state, destroying homes and turning streets into canals.
The woman's body was found inside a vehicle by search and rescue officers in floodwaters off Maddens Bridge Road in Glenfyne, about 45km east of Warrnambool, about 10.40am today.
Police believe it to be Ms Barake, who disappeared from the rural town of Simpson on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old left her Simpson home, between Colac and Port Campbell, about 8.20am on Wednesday and was due to arrive at work in Glenfyne half an hour later, but she never showed up.
"While the body is yet to be formally identified, police believe it is that of missing woman Nina, who went missing from Simpson on Wednesday," a Victoria Police statement read.
"The exact circumstances surrounding the woman's death are yet to be determined but police are not treating it as suspicious."
Police will prepare a report for the coroner.
The tragic news of Mr Gilliland, a father of four caught in Gippsland floodwaters in Woodside yesterday afternoon, has also shattered locals. The man's car was found almost submerged in the Gippsland town.
His family paid tribute to him today saying: "He was the kind of guy who would lend a hand and expect nothing back.
"The typical Aussie battler who would've been fighting till the end."
"My thoughts and prayers are with this person, his family and friends at this very sad time," Acting Premier James Merlino said.
Evacuation warning reissued for town
An evacuation warning has been renewed for the Victorian town of Traralgon as heavy rainfall is set to cause floodwaters to dangerously rise.
The Gippsland town's streets turned into rivers yesterday, forcing up to 200 homes to evacuate and the State Emergency Service (SES) to complete several rescues on boats.
"If you live, work, or are holidaying in the Traralgon Creek area you should evacuate now," a VicEmergency message read at 12.25pm.https://twitter.com/vicemergency/status/1403176640801382407
"The Traralgon Creek at Traralgon is currently below the minor flood level. Renewed rapid river level rises are expected from overnight Friday with minor to moderate flooding expected to develop early hours of Saturday.
"Major flooding is possible from early Saturday morning. Around 30-50mm of rainfall is expected from late Friday and across most of Saturday, with isolated higher totals possible."
The Traralgon Creek is currently at 3.17 metres and falling, but it is set to exceed the minor flood level (3.50m) overnight into Saturday.
The river level is expected to soar past the moderate flood level (4.00m) early Saturday morning and may reach the major flood level (4.80m).
"The challenge for the community and Traralgon is that while the water has receded and the Princes Highway is open, we do expect up to another 100mm of rain later today and throughout the night," SES chief officer operations Tim Wiebusch said.
"We can't emphasise enough to never attempt to drive through flash floodwaters. It could be the last decision you will make."
There were 30 homes impacted around Traralgon, Hazelwood and Maffra in the past 48 hours due to riverine flooding.
The regional town of Sale in Victoria's east has been marked as another area of concern for flash-flooding, with warnings in place for the Thomson River.https://twitter.com/vicemergency/status/1403234997700530177
There are currently 15 flood warnings in place across Victoria.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is expecting major flooding of the Yarra River later tonight near Yarra Glen, with minor flooding forecast for metropolitan areas of Melbourne over the weekend.
"But we are not expecting major flooding impacts within the Melbourne metro area," meteorologist Dean Narramore said.
"If you are on, or near rivers around the areas of Sale, around Yarra Glen, Traralgon, please pay extra attention if you are out and about."
The rainfall is expected to ease around lunchtime tomorrow.
"We are also expecting clear and calm conditions on Sunday and Monday, which will allow those being impacted by the flooding to do a bit of cleanup and preparation," Mr Narramore said.
Major clean up underway after storm ravages towns
A mammoth clean-up is underway after wild storms left a trail of destruction across Victoria, knocking out power to some 290,000 homes and destroying properties.
The SES received over 7400 calls for help over the past 48 hours as trees were ripped from the ground and flash-flooding engulfed regional towns.
READ MORE: Clean-up begins after wild Victoria storm
A "do not drink advisory" remains in place for Trentham, a town in the state's north-west, after power outages caused the water supply to run low yesterday.
"We advise that customers in Trentham do not drink tap water until further notice," Coliban Water stated.
Bottled water is available at the town's Emergency Relief Centre.
There are still about 2500 active incidents and more than 121,000 homes in the dark without power.
Some residents have been told they won't get power until Sunday which means many people won't be able to heat their homes for several days amid freezing temperatures.
Mr Merlino thanked SES workers for assisting in the clean-up and rescues over the past two days.
"I want to thank our many SES workers who are working incredibly hard in dangerous situations over the last 48 hours, working around the clock to respond to callouts, to make homes and communities safer, as the cleanup starts," he said.
"We know it is not over yet. It was quite extraordinary leaving home and driving through the Dandenongs to work this morning, having a few different groups to go through to get off the mountain, massive trees across homes, across the roads, so my thanks again to all."
Emergency services will focus on a backlog of calls for help today, after the busiest day in SES history with storm damage across the entire state.
The vast majority of calls were for trees uprooted, many of which blocked roads and smashed through houses, with over 5700 jobs located in hardest-hit areas of Croydon, Lilydale, Mt Evelyn and Mooroolbark in Melbourne's outer-east.
Other worst-hit areas were Lilydale, Emerald, and the Dandenongs, where there were power lines and trees down every couple of metres in that area alone.
The true cost of the floods won't be known for days as the water slowly subsides.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/victoria-weather-update-cleanup-continues-in-victoria-after-busy-day-for-ses/995c9076-c073-4f08-b3d2-e489a6bb42de