Date: 2022-01-05 21:51:00
Victorians are being told to brace for wild weather, with a warning for intense rainfall, large hailstones and damaging winds across most of the state.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a warning for severe thunderstorms that may produce flash flooding over the next several hours in central Victoria, Gippsland and Wimmera districts.
Locations which may be affected include Seymour, Maryborough, Kyneton, Ballarat, Geelong and Bacchus Marsh, Shepparton, Seymour, Wodonga, Wangaratta, Bright and Falls Creek.
There have been reports of flooding in Ballarat, with a flash flood alert being issued for Creswick and surrounding areas as well as Miners Rest, Wendouree, Invermay and Ballarat North.
A Watch and Act warning has been issued for the area, urging people to stay indoors.
There have also been reports of flash floods in Melbourne’s outer west.
An SES spokesperson said they had received 182 calls for assistance in the past few hours in Ballarat and its surroundings.
“We have had a significant weather event happen in Ballarat,” she said.
“We have had a number of call-outs for floods though the area.”
The spokesperson said most of the requests were for floods, trees down and building damage.
She urged people not to drive through floodwaters.
“We have already had to pull out a number of people – half a dozen — who got trapped in their vehicles,” she said.
“It is the most dangerous [thing to do]. The best idea is to pull over and stay in higher grounds.”
She said given the severe thunderstorm warning, the SES was expecting a lot more calls for help through the evening.
A Bureau of Meteorology spokesperson said Wilson Reservoir and the Devils Creek on Moorabool Reservoir, both towards the east of Ballarat, had received 94 millimetres and 83mm of rainfall since 9am on Wednesday morning.
The SES has also urged more than 30,000 campers around the Mornington Peninsula to be cautious and prepared for strong storms.