Australia Flood Threat Targets Victoria

June 14, 2013; 7:43 PM
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Some of the wettest June weather in more than 20 years has left some Australia residents preparing to evacuate due to soaking torrential rain.

Rainfall in eastern Victoria state was locally nearing 9 inches within less than two days, swelling area streams and rivers.

Residents of Traralgon, about 110 miles east-southeast of Melbourne, were told to be ready to evacuate after a flood warning was posted for Traralgon Creek, the Australian ABC News website said on Thursday. About 2,000 homes were in the evacuation notice area.

A man had to be saved by helicopter after his vehicle was caught in flood waters near Toombon on Friday.

Emergency authorities warned of flash flooding and river flooding as well as landslides in hilly areas of Gippsland, southeastern Victoria. Strong winds and downed tree limbs had earlier temporarily cut power to about 5,000 properties in East Gippsland, the ABC said.

Color-enhanced satellite imagery taken 1230 UTC Thursday, June 13, 2013, shows a strong coastal storm off southeastern Australia, with rain spread over the state of Victoria. (Australian Bureau of Meteorology)

Rain fell, heavy in places, into Friday before the chilly coastal rain storm headed away to the east as predicted.

Rainfall since Wednesday rose to at least 225 mm, or 8.86 inches, at an automated rain gauge in Balook, south of Traralgon, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) website showed. The site also indicated that Traralgon Creek rose above flood level, peaking above 4 meters on Friday, but is not quickly falling.

Many other rain amounts across Gippsland were 3 to 5 inches, according to the BoM.

Meanwhile, in Melbourne, the latest falls, while not excessive or flooding, were enough to lift rainfall for the month to at least 83 mm, or 3.27 inches, ABC said. This made it the wettest June since 1991. June 1991 was the wettest such month on record with 117 mm, or 4.61 inches, a mark that should easily be topped with more than half of the month still to come.

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