Wet in our cities, wild on the roads

MORE rain was dumped on the Border yesterday than the region usually receives all January.

There was 33.8 millimetres of rain in Albury-Wodonga from 5am to 6pm — five millimetres more than the January average of 27.8.

The falls were even heavier to the south, with Wangaratta receiving a whopping 55 millimetres and Rutherglen 45.2 millimetres.

The downpour made conditions tough for motorists with a car aqua- planing on the Hume Freeway, 30 kilometres north of Wangaratta, before hitting a tree.

The driver, a Tumut man, 61, was taken to hospital with a sore shoulder.

Wangaratta highway patrol’s Sen-Constable Patrick Murray said the driver had hit a pool of water on the highway when overtaking.

His car aquaplaned before spinning off the road and into a tree.

“The person he overtook saw the whole thing,” he said.

“He hit a pocket of water and, because of the angle, he rotated twice before his car stopped.

“The driver was lucky and did not suffer any life-threatening injuries.

“He was complaining of a sore shoulder, which is common with a seat-belt injury.”

Sen-Constable Murray urged motorists to drive to the conditions.

“If it’s dark or it’s wet, slow down,” he said.

Police attended another incident, about 9am, when a car side-swiped a semi-trailer on the Hume Freeway near Glenrowan.

A Bendigo man pulled out of McDonald’s at Glenrowan and, as he tried to merge with traffic, he hit a semi-trailer.

“He’s lucky to be alive,” Sen-Constable Murray said.

“Incredibly, there’s not that much damage to the car and it’s still driveable.”

Albury-Wodonga had had only 1.6 millimetres of rain for the month before yesterday’s soaking.

Earlier this week, the Bureau of Meteorology had predicted there would be showers yesterday but hadn’t anticipated the falls would exceed the January average.

It seems the wet weather was short lived.

The Border’s skies had cleared by 7pm and a sunny day with a top of 28 degrees is expected today.

The weather will stay fine for Australia Day tomorrow, with 30 degrees, before the heat returns and the mercury hits the low 40s on Wednesday.

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