Warning of heavy rain and possible flooding as NSW storm tracks south

Parts of Victoria are bracing for heavy rainfall, damaging winds and possible flooding as the weather system drenching NSW moves towards Gippsland.

The Bureau of Meteorology, in a severe weather warning for East Gippsland and the Otways on Tuesday morning, said that it expected localised rainfall of between 80 millimetres and 200 millimetres from midday for parts of the state.

A flooded home in Pitt Town, in Sydney’s west. The weather bureau warns parts of Victoria should expect heavy rain and damaging winds. Credit: Nick Moir

Damaging winds are also expected to reach up to 70km/h, gusting to 100km/h before easing late on Wednesday.

Heavy rainfall is expected west of Sale, and between 80 millimetres and 100 millimetres is forecast east of Orbost. Up to 200 millimetres of rain could fall in the Strzelecki Ranges and at Wilsons Promontory, while the Otway Ranges in Victoria’s south-west could receive up to 150 millimetres of rainfall.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Zuzanna Palej said the rainfall could cause flash flooding.

“That is when drainage doesn’t have enough time to get rid of water on roads, if you have a lot of rainfall at the same time,” she said.

Riverine flooding, caused by the accumulation of rainfall in rivers, is also possible for the Snowy River, with a minor flood warning for the waterway issued on Tuesday morning.

The Bemm, Cann, Genoa and Snowy River catchments are on flood watch.

“That warning may extend today into other rivers of the Gippsland area,” Ms Palej said.

She said locations that could be affected by the forecast severe weather included Wonthaggi, Mallacoota, Cann River, Chandlers Creek, Combienbar and Bonang.

The State Emergency Service advised:

  • If driving conditions are dangerous, safely pull over away from trees, drains, low-lying areas and floodwater. Avoid travel if possible.
  • Stay safe by avoiding dangerous hazards, such as floodwater, mud, debris, damaged roads and fallen trees.
  • Be aware – recent storms may make trees unstable and more likely to fall when it’s windy or wet.
  • Check that loose items, such as outdoor settings, umbrellas and trampolines are safely secured.
  • Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
  • Stay indoors and away from windows.
  • If outdoors, move to a safe place indoors. Stay away from trees, drains, gutters, creeks and waterways.
  • Stay away from fallen powerlines – always assume they are live.
  • Be aware that in fire affected areas, rainfall run-off into waterways may contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks. Heavy rainfall may also increase the potential for landslides and debris across roads.
  • Stay informed: Monitor weather warnings, forecasts and river levels at the Bureau of Meteorology website, and warnings through VicEmergency.

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