Heavy storms have damaged homes in north Victoria, with one SES unit responding to calls for 50 hours straight including a river rescue.
Homes have been damaged by flash flooding and fallen trees in Victoria’s north near Wodonga as Melbourne wakes up to another day of humid conditions.
An SES spokeswoman said they have received 249 requests for help in the past 24 hours as of 9am on Sunday after heavy rain battered the area.
More than 43 people called for help for flooding, building damage and fallen trees from the Rutherglen unit, while Monash was the second busiest SES unit logging more than 24 calls.
Wodonga and Chiltern — the location of the current warning — ranked third and fourth on the list.
The Chiltern SES Unit wrote on social media that they had responded to five flooded houses and warned residents there were still lots of debris on the roads on Sunday morning.
“What a night! Apologies for the sirens but driving around town and seeing water half way up peoples cars we knew some properties were going to be impacted,” they posted.
“We are still out and about checking roads and properties collecting information to help us prepare for the next storm potentially due later today.”
SES Wodonga Unit shared pictures of the damage on their Facebook page, writing they
been responding to requests for assistance since Friday evening, that is 50 straight hours”.
“Flooding, trees over roads, trees on homes and fences, lots of chainsawing, multiple road crashes, a river rescue, evacuation assistance and requests to assist Rutherglen community.
“Our crews are pretty exhausted as we too have been effected by reduced member availability due to Covid.”
They asked the community to be patient while they responded to the mess the storm left behind.
A watch and act warning was issued for Chiltern just before 6am on Sunday, with authorities urging the public they were in “danger (and) should immediately move indoors”.
“Heavy rainfall is causing localised flash flooding in Chiltern,” the warning read.
“If you are located in Chiltern, you are in danger.”
The alert was downgraded to advice level just before 9am, after the rain subsided.
While the immediate threat of flash flooding had passed, residents were warned to avoid sections of the Black Dog Creek, with the stream peaking around Mackay St and Beechworth-Chiltern Rd also flooded.
Emergency services also placed the town of Rutherglen, about 15km north east from Chiltern, on alert.
Residents were warned that while the threat of flooding had now passed for their town, “dangerous hazards including floodwater, debris and fallen trees will still be present”.
The Chiltern-Rutherglen Rd and Murray Valley Highway between Drummond St and Great Southern Rd are shut.
Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Miriam Bradbury said a “pretty significant storm” developed close to Wangaratta yesterday evening and continued to impact the area and nearby towns until the early hours of this morning.
“In terms of the bureau rain gauges, the top total since yesterday morning was 57mm at Greta South, however we have had reports of localised falls in the order of 90 to 130mm.”
She said the storm had died down on Sunday morning but it could continue across the east today, “mostly north of the north eastern ranges”, with rainfall between 10 and 25mm likely.
But she added there was a risk of severe thunderstorms with rainfall between 50 and 70mm developing later this afternoon and into the evening.
It caps of a wet and humid week throughout Victoria which saw flash flooding in Melbourne and Geelong, with one car abandoned after becoming caught in the Elsternwick canal floodwaters.
Ms Bradbury said the humid conditions were caused by a low-pressure trough from Northern Australia down to South Australia, which moved slowly across the state.
“It’s the reason for this humidity, the trough is dragging all of it down from northern australia.
“Normally a cold front would move pretty quickly, within one day, but this trough has taken its time and it continuing to hold humid conditions.”
Victorians can expect a reprieve, with a cold front due to bring cooler conditions from Tuesday afternoon.
“The humidity will hang around through tomorrow and the early part of Tuesday,” Ms Bradbury said.
“We’re looking at a top of 28* degrees today and humid conditions.
“And then we’re expecting a cold front which will do a better job than this low-pressure trough of sweeping out the humid air, which will come on Tuesday.”
Earthquake recorded in Victoria
It comes after a 3.0 magnitude earthquake was recorded overnight in Victoria’s northeast.
The epicentre was near Rawson, close to the site of last September’s shock 5.9 magnitude quake.
Geoscience Australia reported the earthquake — which struck at 3.12am — was at a depth of 5km.
So far, three people have filed felt reports, indicating the shaking was strong enough for them to feel it.
Originally published as Flash flooding as wet, humid weather conditions continue