Floods cause traffic chaos
Maris Beck and Adam CareyFebruary 4, 2011
Melbourne's wet weekend has begun.
Public transport across Melbourne has been thrown into chaos as flash flooding hits the city.
Buses have replaced trains on several railway lines in the eastern suburbs, with the Sandringham line closed between South Yarra and Sandringham, the Belgrave line closed between Upper Ferntree Gully and Belgrave and the Alamein line closed between Camberwell and Alamein.
Flooding at the corner of Canterbury Road and Cowdery Street, St Kilda West: Mitchell Slavik, 11, has fun in the street outside his house. Photo: Carina Slavik
Metro has advised that passengers delay their travel plans.
Several railway lines have been closed due to water on the tracks, and tram services have also been disrupted.
A canoe sails along a street in Beaumaris. Photo: Graham Link
Flooding has also affected the Monash Freeway outbound at Toorak Road.
The Bureau of meteorology warns that worse are storms expected across the state this weekend.
About 50 people have been rescued from floodstruck cars, including a mother with her two young children in Lyndhurst.
A wheelchair-bound man was pulled from his flooded Mulgrave home with water around his hips and a girl clung to a tree in Ashwood until emergency crews rescued her from the torrent.
Mitchell Slavik, 11, has fun in the street outside his house. Photo: Carina Slaviik
Several towns recovering from last month’s flood disaster could be partially underwater by tonight. Benalla, Wangaratta, Bright and Myrtleford in the state’s north-east are considered most at risk, while flash flooding is likely in Ballarat, Maryborough, Creswick, Clunes, Carisbrook and Halls Gap in central Victoria.
Flood warnings have been issued for the Wimmera, Loddon, Avoca and Campaspe rivers. Residents in Halls Gap were warned to evacuate last night. Torrential rain wreaked havoc on Melbourne’s roads and rail network, with half of the lines shut or disrupted by flash flooding.
Traffic was blocked on the Monash Freeway for several hours, with water over the road. Police warned that conditions this weekend would be "extremely dangerous".
Flash floods in Melbourne
Out for a swim: Jemima (seated), Alexa and Jack at Brighton Grammer's sports oval. Photo: Rebecca Hallas
An SES spokeswoman said emergency services had received more than 1500 calls last night. Water had flooded houses in Melbourne’s south-east and Mildura and lightening strikes cut power to more than 30,000 houses.
The Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster, Richard Carlyon said north-eastern alpine areas would receive more than 150 millimetres of rain and large portions of the state would be 50 to 100 millimetres. Wind gusts had reached 131 kilometres last night in the city’s west.
There are major flood warnings for the Goulburn, Broken, Ovens, Kiewa and Mitta Mitta rivers in the north-east. The Werribee, Maribyrnong, Yarra, Dandenong and Bunyip rivers are all at moderate risk of flooding. The thunderstorms are part of cyclone Yasi and its predecessor, former cyclone Anthony.
The Calder Highway is closed near Mildura.
Flash flood warnings are issued for:
Barwidgee Creek area - issued 10.45pm Friday 4 February 2011
Whitfiled, Cheshunt, Cheshunt South, King Valley and Edi - issued 10.00pm Friday 4 February 2011
Creswick township- issued 9.22 pm Friday 4 February 2011
Harrietville area - issued 9.15 pm Friday 4 February 2011
Clunes township - issued 9.12 pm Friday 4 February 2011