MORE than 80 millimetres of drenching rain fell over many parts of South Gippsland, including the Corner Inlet district, during Saturday and Sunday August 13 and 14, toppling trees, flooding roads, and inundating already saturated farming properties.
The rain continued after the weekend, with the Foster SES Unit turning out to deal with a pine tree that fell and blocked the Meeniyan-Promontory Road at Fish Creek, near the Battery Creek water treatment plant, on Monday morning August 15.
On Sunday, water covered a section of the Meeniyan-Promontory Road between Buffalo and Meeniyan, and parts of the Waratah Road between Sandy Point and Waratah North were also affected.
South Gippsland Shire Council reported that 19 requests related to the heavy rainfall had come through during the 24 hours from 8 am on Sunday to 8 am on Monday.
Most of the calls were about flooded roads, and several roads were still closed to traffic because of high water levels as at Monday afternoon, including Armstrongs Road at Meeniyan, Beilbys Road at Nerrena, and Carmodys Road in Leongatha, and Nerrena Road near Dumbalk.
A Shire spokesman said a council team was inspecting roads throughout the municipality to assess the flooding, as well as any resulting damage.
A Victoria Police spokesman said the police stations at Foster and Toora had also received a lot of reports of water flooding over local roads, including the South Gippsland Highway at Grassy Spur and at Welshpool, the Lower Toora Road at Foster, and along the Fish Creek-Foster Road.
“Virtually all of the calls on the Victoria Police radio between the New South Wales coast and the South Gippsland and Bass Coast districts over the weekend were about water,” he said.
“We urge drivers to always drive to the prevailing conditions, to be fully aware of the danger that water over roads can present, and to never risk driving through flood waters.”
The Foster SES also warned drivers to be alert for hazards like fallen trees and landslides, as well as flooded roads, during rainy and windy weather conditions.
“It is very difficult to forecast exactly where a storm will affect an area, and what sort of damage will occur,” an SES spokesman said.
“Be prepared – you may lose services including power and internet, so charge your devices now and ensure you have access to a torch and battery powered radio.”
For life threatening emergencies call 000 (triple zero).
For flood, storm and landslide assistance dial 132 500 to contact the SES.