Floodwater in Bendigo
Flood alerts remain in place for parts of Victoria though the heavy rain appears over for now. Image by Diego Fedele/AAP PHOTOS
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Flood threat persists as weather forecast offers relief

January 11, 2024

Communities remain under threat from flooding in Victoria as the clean-up continues in other towns.

Watch and act alerts were in place on Thursday afternoon for the Goulburn River from Seymour to Shepparton, as well as Bendigo and Bullock creeks downstream of Minto.

Authorities believe about a dozen houses could be flooded when waters peak at Shepparton on Friday, prompting the SES to doorknock about 300 homes.

Moderate flooding is expected at McCoys Bridge over the weekend and into next week, according to the Vic Emergency website.

The natural disaster has also prompted concerns about mosquito-borne diseases as wet conditions could see a jump in the insects breeding.

Health authorities are warning people to cover up, use repellent and limit outdoor activity if possible to avoid getting bitten, with those in high-risk areas also eligible for free Japanese encephalitis vaccines.

So far there have been no cases of that disease or Murray Valley encephalitis.

The Goulburn River is not expected to have any significant rainfall over the coming days, offering some relief to communities impacted by the emergency.

Yea community meeting
 Flood victims have been promised they won’t be left behind as they rebuild. Image by Diego Fedele/AAP PHOTOS 

SES deputy state duty officer Shane McBride urged people to remain vigilant and stay away from floodwaters.

Murky water is travelling through waterways popular with holidaymakers such as the Murray River and Yarra River which is connected to Port Philip Bay, where several beaches remain unsuitable for swimming.

“Floodwaters are very dangerous, very toxic,” Mr McBride told AAP.

“You don’t know what’s in there, you don’t know what’s below there, it’s very hard to see at the bottom especially when driving through floodwaters.”

There were two more water rescues overnight, bringing the total to 54 since the emergency started on Sunday morning.

Flooded Yea paddock
 The SES is urging people to stay away from floodwaters. Image by Diego Fedele/AAP PHOTOS 

Residents in communities such as Yea and Seymour experienced above-floor flooding, with the response in those areas now focused on the clean-up.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese pledged further support for victims after visiting the State Control Centre with acting premier Ben Carroll on Wednesday.

Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd in Melbourne’s east remains closed due to a landslide measuring 70m by 40m.