Towns yet to bear brunt of worst flooding

The North East is yet to bear the brunt of flash flooding predictions but the Victorian State Emergency Service is warning residents to stay vigilant.

The areas of Myrtleford and Wangaratta, deemed most at risk, have received less than 20 millimetres since 9am.

SES media officer Graeme Macartney said a peak for the Ovens and King rivers was yet to be determined but the highest impact would occur within the next days.

“There’s a lot of sandbagging going on in Myrtleford at the moment and it’s going to be two to three days before it hits Wangaratta,” he said.

“The situation in Myrtleford is it will be later this afternoon before there is a high impact – more rain is expected.

“It will come again.”

Mr Macartney said the biggest issue was a power outage affecting the majority of Corryong.

“We do have generators operating to maintain mobile phone links, but it will be some time before power is restored,” he said.

“People are encouraged to make sure their mobile phones and other devices are charged.

“If it’s flooded, forget it, and have common sense.”

SES officers door-knocked 20 homes in Myrtleford this morning, after evacuation advice was issued.

A relief centre operating out of the Myrtleford Senior Citizens Centre has received less than 10 requests for assistance.

Alpine Council municipal recovery manager Elaine Burridge said one homeowner in Whalleys Lane had sought alternative accomodation.

“We’re waiting to see what happens this afternoon,” she said.

“It’s really hard to say – it seems like the rain has settled for now but there is still a chance of heavy rainfall around 6pm this evening.

“A few people have come into request sandbags.

“It’s a very different scenario to last year.”

Standish Street near the town’s centre has been closed since 11.30am after the Happy Valley Creek burst its banks.

Kathy Moran, who lives at a property nearby, said the river had risen much faster during floods of October 2016.

“More people have been sandbagging than ever before and the SES seem very prepared,” she said.

“This time we’ve had thee to four days to prepare whereas most people last year left it until the water was lapping at their back door.

“My sister lives at Ovens and Happy Valley Creek has taken over their bridge at the front of their property.”

Since 6am Friday, rainfall totals of up to 130 mm have been recorded in the Ovens and King catchments.