Victoria flash flooding: Severe storms in Shepparton, Gippsland bring floods and torrential rainfall, threatening lives

Victorians are currently under threat from dangerous flash flooding brought by severe storms which are pelting residents with severe rain and thousands of lightning strikes.

A strong and slow moving low pressure system currently moving across the northwest of the state means intense rainfall which has plagued the state for days will continue to fall on Monday, bringing even more water to already wet environments.

Between 40 and 70mm of rain are likely to fall across the Northern Country, North Central, Central, North East and East Gippsland districts over six hours, including Bendigo, Shepparton, Seymour, Kyneton, Wodonga and Wangaratta.

Some areas could receive up to 100mm of rain, likely leading to dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding.

This is of particular concern in north central and north eastern catchments where 60-100mm is “likely” authorities have warned.

In 12 hours, the town of Puckapunyal recorded 67mm of rain until 10:30pm last night, while 60mm fell in just three hours in Redesdale and Flowerdale.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued flood warnings across much of the state’s north, with 25 catchments likely to be affected from the huge influx of water, including the Avoca catchment and Campaspe river.

There have already been more than 337 requests for assistance made in Australia, with the busiest units located in Warrnambool (56 requests), Bendigo (32 requests), and Kerang (23 requests).

More than three thousand Victorians remain without power on Monday morning, with at least 1800 homes and residences in the dark in the state’s west while there are more than 1400 customers affected in the east.

Meanwhile, any hope of respite from the wet weather and severe storms that have lashed the country for weeks has been dispelled, with a new warning Australia’s eastern states are likely to face more weeks of wet weather and a meteorologist criticising a “common misconception” that an El Nino summer guaranteed dry conditions.

Sky News meteorologist Alison Osborne said there was a “high chance of above-average rain through northeastern and eastern Australia” before the conditions begin to dry out in February.

She said the “spiteful” positive Southern Annular Mode (SAM) – a ring of westerly winds that hug Antarctica – was promoting easterly winds and driving rains across Australia’s east coast.

“That is pretty difficult to predict in advance beyond a couple of weeks, but at the moment that has been a big driver of the rain and storm events through eastern Australia in particular,” she said.

“That thing has been wobbling positive since early December, and it’s likely to remain that way for at least the next two weeks.”

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