SES on high alert as heavy rainfall, damaging winds and flooding forecast for Victoria

Victorians are bracing for heavy rainfall, damaging winds and widespread flooding, as a low-pressure system sweeps in from north of the state.

The system, bearing down on NSW on Thursday, is moving south-east, bringing some rain to northern Victoria.

Multiple severe weather warnings have been issued for parts of Victoria. Credit:Justin McManus

The Bureau of Meteorology was expecting between 40 and 60 millimetres of rain across the northeast and Gippsland from Thursday into Friday, with higher falls of between 60 and 80 millimetres possible across the Gippsland high country.

Melbourne was forecast to receive between 15 and 30 millimetres of rain on Friday.

Elsewhere, rainfall totals of between 25 and 45 millimetres were forecast for the Otway Coast, and falls of between 15 and 30 millimetres were predicted for central parts of the state.

With riverine catchments already saturated, flooding and possible flash flooding was expected.

A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall was issued for the Gippsland and northeastern districts for Friday. A flood watch was also in place for the Gippsland regions, parts of the northeast, central Victoria and the Otway Coast for Friday afternoon.

The State Emergency Service said their volunteers stood ready to assist at-risk communities. In a statement, they urged Victorians to remain vigilant and to practice common sense.

“With heavy rain on the forecast, it’s vital for community members to remain alert, and remember to never drive through floodwater,” the statement said.

“It doesn’t take much for a vehicle to become unstable, lose traction or wash away. Driving through flood waters may be the last decision you make.”

In the 24 hours to 3pm on Thursday, the emergency service had already fielded 97 requests for assistance. Fifty-two of those were for trees down, while 23 were for building damage, and eight were for flooding.

Fifteen requests for assistance were still active as of 3pm.

The bureau also issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds for parts of the central and north-central districts on Thursday.

Average winds of between 60 and 70km/h and peak gusts of about 90km/h were forecast to develop across those areas about midday on Friday, before easing below the warning threshold on Friday evening.

Parts of Victoria were also slated to receive a cold, windy, and showery weekend, with Melbourne forecast to have falls of between 10 and 15 millimetres on Saturday, and winds of up to 30km/h.

A thunderstorm was possible for the city in the afternoon, as was small hail. Winds were predicted to reach up to 40km/h.

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