Local News - Victoria

Cold front batters Victoria, city gets more rain in four months than 2019 total


Meanwhile a strong cold front has whipped up damaging winds and heavy rain in Victoria’s north-east, with the potential for flash flooding.

A severe weather warning is in place for the North East, parts of East Gippsland, North Central and the West and South Gippsland forecast districts.

Falls Creek has already had 113mm of rain between 10pm Tuesday and 11am Wednesday, with the weather warning in place for the rest of the day.

“It’s still raining there of course,” Mr Halfpenny said.

The Bureau of Meteorology is expecting another 50 to 80 millimetres until midnight in the warning area, with most of that rain to fall over a four-hour period as the front crosses the state.

Damaging winds with 100km/h gusts were also hitting elevated areas on Wednesday. Mount Hotham recorded a 107km/h gust overnight, while Mount Buller was hit with a 94km/h gust.

Heavy rain is expected to ease by the late morning before redeveloping in the late afternoon and continuing into the evening for the severe warning areas.

Towns hit by this summer’s horror bushfire season also face the risk of landslips on Wednesday, especially in the north-east.


A flood watch is in place for parts of central and eastern Victoria.

Melbourne is expected to get another round of heavy rain from the early afternoon, probably from around 1pm. The city is expecting between 15 to 20mm of rain, while the outer eastern suburbs could get daily totals of up to 30mm.

A spokesman for the State Emergency Service said there had been 49 calls for help in the 24 hours to 11.20am, 30 of which were in the prior six hours. He said it was expecting a rush of requests for assistance starting from late Wednesday, ahead of a “wet and miserable three days”.

Heavy rain is expected to clear by the early hours of Thursday morning, but the front will leave a “vigorous” cold south-westerly wind and a few showers.

“We’re in for a period of quite cold windy weather,” Mr Halfpenny said.

Melbourne could have its coldest April day in almost 25 years on Thursday, with a top of just 13 degrees forecast.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the forecast would make it the coldest April day since 1996, but it would feel even colder due to the winds. Friday is also forecast to be 13 degrees, but that is less unusual for May.

Mr Halfpenny said most of the state had received above average rainfall this year, particularly through the central corridor, which includes Melbourne.

Though he couldn’t say if the rain totals spelled the end of the drought, Mr Halfpenny said NSW has had “way above average rain” and it had made a “significant dent”.

Shepparton has recorded around 10 times as much rain this year as it had by the same time in 2019. So far, the northern Victorian city has had 204mm compared to 24mm by the end of April last year.

Alisha Bennett and three of her four children - Ava, 12, Lukas, 11, and Arabella, 5. They are waiting to have their heating fixed.

Alisha Bennett and three of her four children – Ava, 12, Lukas, 11, and Arabella, 5. They are waiting to have their heating fixed.Credit:Eddie Jim


“There’s a huge discrepancy there,” Mr Halfpenny said.

The change of seasons may be uncomfortable for people caught unprepared. Alisha Bennett and her four children turned on the heater in their Deer Park rental home for the first time last week and felt nothing.

“Our landlord says they’ll have it fixed as soon as possible – hopefully on Wednesday, because we’re bloody freezing already,” Ms Bennett said.

“Foxtel and Netflix will be our best friend, I think.”

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has told the State Emergency Service people can shelter with family, friends or at relief centres, despite the coronavirus social distancing restrictions, if the weather damages their homes.

with Anthony Colangelo and Michael Fowler

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