EMERGENCY services were bracing themselves last night for predicted record breaking rainfall today and over the weekend in the Rural City of Wangaratta and Alpine Shire.
Early forecasts estimated 100mm-200mm were set to fall across the North East from early this morning with rainfall in Alpine area rainfalls possibly exceeding 250mm.
Keith O’Brien, SES regional agency commander, said all local SES volunteers had been put on standby yesterday with CFA and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) personnel ready to provide assistance.
SES volunteers were already involved in assisting police in the search for missing man Matthew Fitzpatrick at Mansfield which was scheduled to continue today.
An incident control centre will also be set-up in Wangaratta this morning to coordinate resources along with a public information cell which will provide updates and information locally as required.
“We have advice there is potential for minor and major flooding in the Ovens and King catchments and we are ramping up our efforts to be as prepared as possible,” Mr O’Brien told the Wangaratta Chronicle yesterday afternoon.
“But until the rain comes we won’t know where it will impact the most.”
Mr O’Brien urged locals to enact their flood action plans and to monitor the SES website www.ses.vic.gov.au for regular updates.
If you need assistance to create a flood plan, visit www.ses.vic.gov.au/get-ready/your-local-flood-information.
VicRoads urged all road users to take extreme care in the expected difficult driving conditions and asked drivers to consider whether travel was essential.
If you do have to drive VicRoads urged drivers to slow down, drive to the conditions, don’t walk, ride or drive through flood water, leave a greater distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front, turn headlights on, be alert for other road users who may be difficult to see, such as motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians, and if the rain is too heavy for your wipers to cope, pull over and wait until visibility improves.
Make sure your car is safe and in a roadworthy condition – in particular, check tyres, windscreen wipers and brake lights.
Most importantly – be patient.
If you see any problems on our roads, report them to the VicRoads Traffic Management Centre on 131 170 (open 24/7).
In an emergency call Triple Zero (000). For the latest information visit traffic.vicroads.vic.gov.au, download the VicTraffic app, follow @VicTraffic on Twitter or check the VicTraffic Facebook page.