Alpine re­gion cops a storm bat­ter­ing

Trees fall, rivers flood as 50mm falls in less than a day

Alpine Observer - - News - By JUSTIN JENVEY & BRAD WORRALL

WILD weather has caused havoc across the re­gion – trees crash­ing across roads, flood­wa­ters cut­ting oth­ers af­ter gale force winds and heavy rain lashed the val­leys and moun­tains on Fri­day.

The alps copped the brunt of the weather with more than 50mm recorded at Mt Hotham and Falls Creek, the com­bined snow melt forc­ing flood watches on the Ovens and Kiewa rivers.

Falls Creek recorded a wind gust of 113kmh on Fri­day af­ter­noon.

By late Fri­day emer­gency ser­vices had es­tab­lished an in­ci­dent con­trol cen­tre in the Kiewa Val­ley.

Bright SES con­troller Roy Kennedy said res­i­dents at Red­bank and Mon­gans Bridge were warned of the im­pend­ing river rises and po­ten­tial floods.

“A car­a­van park had to shift vans to higher ground and there was some con­cern for homes that back onto the West Kiewa River,” he said.

Mr Kennedy said most of the call-outs were to fallen trees.

“We had trees across the road in the Kiewa Val­ley dur­ing the day and then late Fri­day night we had a tree across the road on the Ta­wonga Gap Road at Ger­man­town and didn’t fin­ish there un­til about 1.30am,” he said.

“At 6.30am the pager started again and we still had more trees to clear even on Mon­day morn­ing.”

The del­uge de­liv­ered close to 50mm to the Kiewa and up­per Ovens Val­leys in less than 24 hours, the sat­u­rated ground sim­ply un­able to ab­sorb any more wa­ter, pad­docks turn­ing into wa­ter­ways, run- off fill­ing al­ready swollen creeks and streams.

The TAFCO weather sta­tion at Pore­punkah recorded 48mm for the 24 hours to Satur­day morn­ing, while the sta­tion at Co­ral Bank in the Kiewa Val­ley fin­ished with 45mm.

Myrtle­ford SES con­troller Ja­son For­ber said the vol­un­teer crews had lit­tle or no sleep over the week­end.

“Our great­est is­sue was trees across the road,” he said.

“The ground is so wet that as soon as the winds hit them they are just go­ing over, we went to too many at the week­end and in just about all cases the tree had come out at the root ball, just let go in the wind.

“We had to sand­bag a cou­ple of prop­er­ties at Ovens on Fri­day and then the Stan­dish Street cross­ing went un­der about 10 o’clock on Fri­day night.”

FLOOD WATCH: The flooded Happy Val­ley Creek cut off Stan­dish Street from about 10pm Fri­day un­til Sun­day.

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