Australia – Floods Prompt Evacuations and Rescues in Victoria

Severe weather including heavy rain and strong winds affected the state of Victoria, Australia, from 09 June 2021. Wind gusts of over 100 km/h were reported. More than 200mm of rain fell in 24 hours in several locations. Police said one person died in a vehicle caught in flood water.

The heavy rainfall caused rivers to rise, in particular the Traralgon Creek in Traralgon where State Emergency Services (SES) issued an evacuation notice for more than 200 homes. SES said:

“If you live, work, or are holidaying in the Traralgon Creek area you should evacuate now. Flood waters are currently sitting above major flood level.”

Levels of the creek jumped from under 1 metre to 5.78 metres in the space of around 12 hours between 09 and 10 June 2021. Major flood level here is 4.80 metres.

Levels of Traralgon Creek at Traralgon Victoria, Australia June 2021. Image: Australia BoM

As of 10 June, Major Flood Warnings were in place for the Avon, Latrobe, Macalister, Thomson, Yarra rivers and Traralgon Creek. The Thomson River at Cowwarr reached 7.57 metres on 10 June, where major flood level is 5.5 metres.

SES reported several people were rescued by helicopter, including some trapped in homes and others trapped in vehicles. Emergency services received thousands of calls for assistance, mostly for wind damage. Downed powers lines left more than 200,000 homes in the state without electricity.

Victoria Police said that a person died in a vehicle submerged in flood water in Woodside, South Gippsland. Police said:

“Emergency services were called to Starlings Lane about 1.45pm after a member of the public notified them of a vehicle almost submerged in flood waters.

“Officers attended and confirmed that a deceased man, possibly aged in his 60s, was with the vehicle.

“A rescue team has recovered the deceased man and the circumstances surrounding his death are being investigated.”

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Featured image: Flooded road, for illustration purposes only.