Alpine region cops a storm battering
Trees fall, rivers flood as 50mm falls in less than a day
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.