By Muhammad Atef | June 11, 2021

Woman’s body found in floodwater as Victoria’s storm toll rises, further rain expected overnight

A woman’s body has been found in floodwaters in Glenfyne, south-west Victoria, becoming the state’s second fatality as authorities continue to issue flood warnings ahead of further rain and wind expected overnight.

Police said the woman’s body was found in a vehicle by Search and Rescue officers off Maddens Bridge Road at 10:40am.

While yet to be formally identified, police believe the body is a woman who went missing from Simpson on Wednesday.

“The exact circumstances surrounding the woman’s death are yet to be determined but police are not treating it as suspicious,” Victoria Police said.

Yesterday, a man in his 60s was found dead at Woodside in eastern Victoria, after police were notified about a car submerged in water.

VicEmergency issued a warning for residents and visitors in Traralgon to evacuate immediately due to risk of “major flooding” overnight and into Saturday.

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“If you are travelling by car do not enter flooded areas. Turn around to find a safe alternative route,” it said. 

A major flood warning was issued for the Thomson River downstream of Wandocka. A separate flood warning was issued for Sale.

There are minor flood warnings in place for for Gippsland and other areas.

Flooded paddocks outside of Yarra Glen
Flooded paddocks outside of Yarra Glen.(

ABC News: Barrie Pullen

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“It’s been a tough few days for southern parts of Victoria including Gippsland, and unfortunately there’s a bit more rain and wind to come,” said Dean Narramore, a senior meteorologist with the Bureau of Meteorology.

Mr Narramore said the wind and rain would not be as extreme as that experienced on Wednesday and Thursday, but that communities impacted by floods could see renewed river level rises.

“We’re expecting most of this rain to fall in the overnight hours, which means people could be waking up once again to flooded homes and communities in the early hours of Saturday morning,” he said.

“We’re not expecting major flood impacts for the Melbourne metro area.”

Mr Narramore said the rain was expected to clear by Saturday afternoon, with clear and calm conditions on Monday and Sunday.

Emergency services ‘working around the clock’

Thousands of Victorians woke up on Friday in the cold and dark for the second morning in a row after wild weather cut power to properties across Melbourne’s outer east, Gippsland and Central Victoria.

Acting Premier James Merlino thanked SES workers working “incredibly hard in dangerous situations” over the past 48 hours, “working around the clock to respond to callouts, to make homes and communities safer, as the cleanup starts”.

Mr Merlino said his thoughts and prayers were with the family and friends of a Gippsland man who died.

Traralgon tennis courts underwater
Traralgon in the state’s east was among the hardest hit for flooding.(

Supplied: Jacob Backman

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Over the past 48 hours there had been 7,400 requests for assistance and there remained 121,000 homes without power, Mr Merlino said.

Victoria SES Chief Officer Tim Wiebusch said there had been 42 flood rescues over the past 48 hours and there remained around 2,500 requests for assistance still needing to be cleared.

Flood warnings would remain in place for parts of Victoria ahead of expected rain later this afternoon and tonight, he said.

“We can’t emphasise enough — stay in touch with your emergency broadcast, get the latest information from the Vic Emergency website, and stay in touch with the Vic Traffic application or website for latest road closures,” Mr Wiebusch said.

A man in a blue SES uniform speaks
Mr Wiebusch says Victorians should stay in touch with their emergency broadcast.(

ABC News

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Hundreds who were evacuated from their homes in Traralgon spent the night with friends and family or in hotels.

COVID-19 restrictions prevented them from staying in an evacuation centre.

Gippsland residents have described the storm as the worst they’ve ever seen. Latrobe Valley farmer Thomas Beamish said he had never seen anything like yesterday’s conditions.

“I’ve lived here all my life and, nah, we’ve never seen it,” Mr Beamish said.

Gippsland braces as more rain forecast

Gippsland resident Leah Mether said people were just focused on survival.

“Everyone’s just doing what they can to get through what looks like is going to be a few days of this,” Ms Mether  said.

A man wearing a mask checks a car abandoned near a flooded creek.
Hundreds of  Traralgon residents have been forced to flee their homes due to rapid rising floodwaters.(

ABC News: Patrick Rocca

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Latrobe City Council Mayor Sharon Gibson said the danger was not over yet.

“Things have eased a bit but we’re due for more rain,” Cr Gibson said.

 Emergency services and volunteers worked into the night clearing roads and restoring power.

AusNet said it could take up to a week for power to be restored to some homes.

A fallen tree over the road.
A huge tree fallen across a road near a house that was damaged by storms in Emerald, Victoria.(

ABC News: Billy Draper

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SES commander Jackson Bell said they had spent the night preparing for another “big day” of wild weather.

“Yesterday, was pretty busy for our crews … a number of flood rescues undertaken yesterday,” Mr Bell said.

“We will continue to have a presence in the area. Over the coming days, there is a risk of further rainfall, which might lead to further rises in the area. 

“So, we are watching it pretty intently over the next 24 hours.”

Mr Bell said they received about 50 calls to move livestock to higher ground, using our boats as well as vehicles.

He said their focus remained on restoring power and getting people back to their homes.

“This morning our attention remains at restoring power,” he said.

“We know there are parts in Trentham, eastern metropolitan Melbourne, the Yarra Ranges and Dandenong still without power,” he said.

“Approximately 160,000 people are still without power. 

He said their focus remained on enabling service providers to access the infrastructure to restore power.

“There are still powerlines down,” Mr Bell said.

“[It’s] another hazard that is hindering our job at the moment.”

He said hundreds of volunteers were assisting with the efforts.

Brad wears a red waterproof jacket and jeans as he surveys the huge damage inside his house.
Emerald resident Brad Wynd surveys the damage to his home after a storm front swept Victoria.(

ABC News: Zalika Rizmal

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Gippsland farmers hit by this week’s floods are also assessing the extent of the damage to their properties and infrastructure. 

‘Hundred lions roaring’

Marilyn Deller, 72, said she and her partner survived a near-total destruction of their three-storey house on the edge of the state forest in Kalorama, east of Melbourne, on Wednesday night.

Ms Deller said the sound of the wind was like a “hundred lions roaring at once”.

“The kitchen window had blown in … the wall and the ceiling came on in,” she said.

“It fell on me. I am very bruised.”

Ms Deller said the power had gone out and it was pitch black.

“At that moment it started … it just seemed one tree after the other [falling].”

Flooding concerns remain

Another burst of wet weather is developing over eastern Victoria through the day today and intensifying tonight.

Totals aren’t expected to be as big as the falls that caused major flooding in western Gippsland.

The “nuisance” falls won’t significantly add to flood levels, but they will slow the decline in river levels and could cause problems for emergency services still dealing with widespread damage.

The low-pressure system that has been causing the wild weather will move away this weekend, with conditions settling from Saturday afternoon.

Flooding remains a concern for some downstream communities right through the weekend as the waters move towards the ocean.

cars in floodwater on traralgon creek road
Cars trapped in Traralgon Creek floodwater in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.(

Supplied: Michael from Floorworx

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Emergency services have issued a flood warning for the South Gippsland Highway Between Sale and Longford this morning.

Authorities say flooding is occurring in the Thomson River which is likely to impact the South Gippsland Highway

Major flood warnings remains for the Thomson River downstream of Wandocka in the Gippsland region.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued strong wind warning for Gippsland Lakes, Central Gippsland Coast and East Gippsland Coast.



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