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Friday, July 19, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Floods and outages hit two states as deluge persists

Several regional Victorian communities are at risk of being cut off by rising floodwaters. (Diego Fedele/AAP PHOTOS)

By William Ton in Melbourne

EASTERN states will continue to face major flood threats and thunderstorms while power is gradually being restored to Queenslanders hit by destructive weather.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a major flood watch for the Avon and Thompson rivers in Victoria’s southeast and moderate flood warnings for the Mitchell and Snowy rivers.

While water levels remain stable or are slowly dropping, the bureau warns further heavy rainfall on Saturday evening and into Sunday could tip some areas back over the major flooding line.

Some parts of Victoria’s Gippsland region recorded more than 40mm of rain from 9am Saturday with the drenching not letting up.

There were 19 calls for assistance in the 24 hours to 2pm on Saturday and emergency authorities conducted three flood rescues, a State Emergency Service spokesman said.

Police and SES crews were dispatched to two rescue requests at Sale and one at Alberton West in Gippsland overnight.

“If you are confronted with floodwaters, do not attempt to drive through those floodwaters. It may be the last decision you make,” SES state duty officer Shane McBride said.

The SES has received more than 900 requests for help since the beginning of the storm and rain event on Wednesday with about 700 relating to fallen trees.

Parts of eastern Victoria are predicted to record rainfalls of 100mm over the weekend on top of the 200 to 300mm since Wednesday.

Queensland was forecast to have showers and possible severe thunderstorms over most of the state on Saturday, with between five and 25mm of rain in most places.

Thousands of people in the state’s south east were left without power after storms and fallen trees knocked over powerlines overnight, government-owned provider Energex said.

Services were gradually being restored throughout but 540 people remain disconnected from 22 outages on Saturday afternoon.

“Energex is working across south east Queensland to repair damage caused by storms Friday afternoon and again this morning so power can be restored once it is safe to do so,” the company said.

The energy provider has dispatched additional assistance to support local crews who worked through the night.

Some parts of NSW’s south east copped more than 200mm of rain over the past few days, with a moderate flood warning for the Snowy and Buchan rivers.

Storms bringing potentially heavy rain, damaging winds and large hail were likely to occur in the late afternoon and evening.

While minor flood warnings remained for parts of Queensland’s southeast, there were heatwave warnings for the far north.

Parts of the state have been enduring scorching weather since Wednesday with high temperatures expected to impact the north and north east through to next week.

Temperatures above 40C were expected to continue, with overnight lows only dipping to the high teens.

Heat warnings were also in place for northern parts of the NT including the possibility of severe conditions in the Tiwi District.

The bureau says Canberra has a medium chance of showers, becoming less likely later this evening. There’s the chance of a thunderstorm. Tomorrow there’s an 80 per cent chance of rain, possibility of a storm and rainfall to 7mm. Sunday’s maximum temperature is forecast to be 23C.


Australian Associated Press

Australian Associated Press

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