25 July, 2024
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Victorian rain eases, river threat remains

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A break in rainfall is easing flood conditions on the Victoria-NSW border despite volumes of water continuing to surge along the swollen Murray River.

There are 70 flood warnings in place across Victoria, down from 74 on Wednesday, while more than 400 roads across the state remain closed.

SES chief operations officer Tim Wiebusch said floodwaters in southern NSW were converging on the Murray and warned river communities to be flood ready.

“Go and access your local flood guide, so that you can understand what the risks and consequences could be for you and your communities,” he told ABC TV on Thursday.

Emergency Victoria has warned residents in flood-affected areas are at risk of mosquito-borne diseases, water-borne diseases and illness relating to mould exposure.

In central-northern Victoria, major flood warnings remain in place at Echuca, Barmah and Lower Moira, where authorities warn it is still unsafe for evacuated residents to return.

The Campaspe River on Echuca’s western side may fall below the moderate flood level on Thursday night but the Murray on the town’s northern side is expected to remain above the major flooding level through to next week.

Conditions have eased in Rochester, where at least 900 people have been displaced and many more are assessing damage to their homes after sandbagging efforts were overwhelmed by floodwaters in October.

“Our 33-odd-thousand sandbags amounted to near ground nought because it came in so much higher and so much harder, faster than anyone had even predicted,” Rochester SES unit controller Tim Williams said.

Despite the temporary relief in weather conditions, floodwaters will continue to move downstream and above average rainfall is expected to continue for the next six to eight weeks.

Mr Wiebusch said major floodwaters were expected to reach Swan Hill on Monday next week, peaking in the middle of the week and remaining high for some time.

As NSW rivers flow into the Murray River as it meanders northwest, major flooding is expected to reach Mildura in the first week of December.

– AAP

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