Hepburn Shire included in weather warnings

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Record-breaking rain is bearing down on Victoria, triggering warnings of dangerous flash flooding across the state. 

Heavy rain and scattered thunderstorms which may lead to flash flooding are forecast throughout much of the state today, with a focus about the northeast.

Heavy rain and thunderstorm activity will continue throughout Saturday, before contracting to the southeast during Sunday.

Rain totals to midday Sunday of 50-150mm are expected in the warning area, with 100-200mm in the northeast and peak totals exceeding 250mm possible about the northeast ranges.

Sandbags are available from your local SES. Contact 5438 3902 if you require sandbags. 

Road safety during heavy rain and floods

Driving in heavy rain and floods is discouraged by all forms of emergency services but if people must travel, it is recommended to follow these tips: 

  • Wet weather should be a prompt to slow down on the roads. 
  • Don't walk, ride or drive through flood water. You wouldn’t drive through flames, so don’t drive through floods. 
  • Cars can float in as little as 15cm of water – that’s water the depth of an average pen.
  • Leave a greater distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front. 
  • Turn your headlights on. 
  • Be alert for other road users who may be difficult to see, such as motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. 
  • If the rain is too heavy for your wipers to cope, the best course of action is to pull over and wait until visibility improves. 
  • Make sure your car is safe and in a roadworthy condition – in particular, check tyres, windscreen wipers and brake lights. 
  • Most importantly – be patient.

Creswick worried and Kingston Show unsure

The 150th Kingston Agricultural show has been thrown into doubt with forecast heavy rains threatening to cause a washaway. 

Business and Tourism Creswick Secretary and President of the Kingston Agricultural Society Margaret Giles said people are anxious about the predicted weather. 

“People are understandably nervous but we won’t know until after the event just how bad it is,” she said. 

Ms Giles said tourists from Melbourne and Adelaide had called their bookings at accommodation in Creswick and the Kingston Agricultural Society are weary about holding the show on Sunday. 

“We are waiting a bit longer to make a decision about what happens with the show this year,” she said. 

“We are going to make a decision on Friday and we have to make it reasonably early so we will be putting a message on our Facebook page about what will be happening then.” 

However, Ms Giles said the people of Creswick are feeling much more prepared than 2010 and 2011 when they were hit with two major floods. 

Since then, the North Central Catchment Management Authority and Hepburn Shire Council have undertaken flood mitigation works including widening and cleaning the Creswick creek and upgrading the bride over the creek. 

“We have had significant rainfall since the mitigation works and the town wasn't affected as badly as 2011,” Ms Giles said. 

“There has been a considerable amount of work and personally I feel much better prepared and we should be able to cope with a rain event if the authorities are to be believed and we have no reason to not believe them.”

At Davies and Rose Rural and Hardware, Dave Mullaney and owner Jamie Davies have been preparing for if the store is hit by flood and sold about 40 sandbags to local residents yesterday.  

“We have been moving stock around and things like that,” Mr Mullaney said. 

“I’ve checked the spouts, unblocked the sump, and moved any things that can’t afford to get wet,” Mr Davies said. 

The hardware store was hit hard by floods in 2011 and Mr Davies said there is the same nervous energy in the Creswick township as there was six years ago. 

“I think there is a sense of perpetration but some people a bit concerned,” he said. 

“People are bit on edge and a bit nervy about what the rainfall will bring us, everyone has been keeping an eye on the rain on all different websites. 

“We had a wet winter but the ground has dried a bit so it will soak a bit before it runs across the top of the soil but if you get four inches or onward the creeks will burst.”

Despite the threat of floods, Mr Davies said he will not close the shop unless he has to and it will be “business as usual”