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  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

Hundreds of calls for help as storms, heavy rain hit

A woman had a narrow escape after falling into a flooded drain during storms in Victoria, as floods and building damage sparked hundreds of calls for help.


Water covers the running track as rain delays races during the 142nd running of the Stawell Gift at Central Park, Stawell,Victoria, Monday, April 1, 2024. Image AAP


More than 500 requests for help have been made to emergency services as thunderstorms, damaging winds and heavy rain pummelled Victoria.


There were 267 reports of building damage and 117 flood-related incidents across the state in the 24 hours to 8am, the SES said.


Melbourne was hit by the equivalent of month of rain on Monday, with the city's northeast copping the most.


A woman in the central Victorian town of Daylesford had a narrow escape after falling down an embankment and into a stormwater drain on Monday night.


She was carried by fast-flowing water until she grabbed hold of a metal pole but her cries for help could not be heard over the sound of rushing water, Victoria Police said.


The 58-year-old was eventually able to climb out and sought help from a friend, suffering minor cuts and bruises.


Hardest hit areas included suburbs in Melbourne's outer east and west, in addition to parts of Geelong.


There were four separate flood rescues since midday on Monday, SES duty officer Erin Mason said.


"Mainly it's been people driving through floodwater," she said.


"So just a reminder to people to never drive through flood water.


If the road is flooded, I encourage people to stop, turn around and find an alternate path."


Ms Mason expected the number of call outs to rise in coming hours as the weather system heads east.


A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and damaging wind gusts remains in place for much of Victoria's east stretching from parts of Melbourne down to southern Gippsland and the High Country.


The alert extends across the NSW border to parts of the South West Slopes and Snowy Mountains, with damaging winds and peak gusts up to 130km/h expected on Tuesday morning.


The Stawell Gift's finals were delayed due to torrential rain and water over the track.


On Monday, lightning caused a 40-minute halt to the Geelong and Hawthorn AFL match at the MCG while the Stawell Gift finals were delayed by about two hours due to torrential rain and water over the track.


The highest rainfall totals were in central Victoria including Melbourne, with Olympic Park recording 53mm of rain in 24 hours.


Upper Plenty, in the city's northeast, recorded 92mm - its highest daily April rainfall total and well above the city's average April rainfall of 50mm.


Lightning strikes twice forced staff working on the tarmac at Melbourne Airport to move to a safe area.


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