Victoria Floods Yet To Peak

Dozens of towns in western and central Victoria, including the city of Horsham, are bracing for damaging flood peaks today.

Towns along the Wimmera, Loddon, Avoca and Campaspe River systems have spent a sleepless night waiting for river levels to reach their peak.

Other towns downstream have been warned they will face flooding next week.

Many of the towns in danger were flooded in September.

Rochester, near Bendigo, is facing the biggest threat today when the Campaspe River peaks.

An evacuation warning has been issued for the entire town and it is expected up to 200 properties will be flooded.

Dozens of people have evacuated to the Rochester Sports Grounds.

Emergency evacuation warnings were issued for Charlton, Durham Ox and Bridgewater overnight.

About 8,000 homes around Bendigo, including St Arnaud, Charlton, Wycheproof and Boort are without power after a substation was flooded.

Hundreds of residents in Serpentine were ordered to leave their homes at first light this morning, and are being moved to safety.

Yesterday, Charlton in central Victoria was hardest hit.

About 400 homes flooded and most of the town’s residents evacuated.

Two hundred homes were inundated in Carisbrook, where the town’s entire population of about 800 were evacuated, and 100 homes were flooded in Creswick.

Almost 2,000 people were forced out of their homes to stay with friends or at evacuation centres set up across the region.

The city of Horsham is among the towns expected to bear the brunt of flood peaks today.

Lachlan Quick from the State Emergency Service (SES) says it is not clear how much of Horsham will be affected.

“We would expect some form of impact in Horsham along the Wimmera River,” he said.

“We’d also expect impact on Bridgewater, Serpentine, Durham Ox and Kerang on the Loddon River.

“We do know that the river heights are rising and making their way downstream to other townships.”

Horsham’s Mayor, Michael Ryan says the town is preparing for the flooding to be worse than September.

“The flooding impact of that will certainly be on housing,” he said.

“Back in September there was none, so this is going to be a significant change to what happened back in September, which of itself was significant enough.”

The SES has responded to more than 5,000 calls for help in the past three days.

Sleepless night

Hundreds of people have spent the night at evacuation centres across western and central Victoria.

John from Rochester slept at the town’s sports ground.

“It’s been a pretty sleepless night,” he said.

“The water’s come up overnight so we’re stranded here, no food, no water, no nothing. It’s not a happy situation unfortunately.

“We knew it was coming but unfortunately it looks like it’s going to be the highest it’s ever been here.”

Several SES crews are trapped at Charlton after helping residents evacuate.

The floodwaters have now cut all access to the town, and the crews spent the night in the town hall.

Melbourne flooding

Some areas of Melbourne’s west are also flooded.

The Maribyrnong River has breached its banks near the Anglers Tavern at Maribyrnong and at Chiefley Street.

A ute was swept off Sinclairs Road at Rockbank around 7:00pm (AEST) last night.

The road was closed when Kororoit Creek rose, but the 43-year-old driver ignored the road sign.

The driver swam to safety.

A CFA crew also rescued three husky puppies from the vehicle.

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