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Tuesday, 05 December 2017 08:31

Weekend a super soaker

The weekend’s soaking rains were just what the doctor ordered, breaking a prolonged dry spell … and it came without little incident compared to other parts of the state, despite dire statewide warnings. The soaking rains, which started on Friday night and petered out yesterday, saw local stream rises, tanks filled to the brim and stock dams looking somewhat healthier on the first weekend of summer. While there was some run-off during the heavier rain, much of the rain was soaked up by the dry landscape. The rain, as forecast, was widespread, however was less in the far east. In Bairnsdale, the heaviest of the falls were between 3am and 9am on Saturday, with 38mm of the 52mm received for the 24 hours until 9am Saturday falling in that time. The soaking showers persisted before clearing on Sunday morning, with an extra 25.8mm officially recorded for Bairnsdale from 9am Saturday to 9am yesterday for a 78mm total. Totals of 80mm in Lucknow and 82 in Sarsfield and Nicholson were recorded. Omeo had similar falls, receiving 56.8mm in the 24 hours to 9am Saturday and a further 23.2mm to 9am yesterday. At Orbost, farmers were pleased to be tipping out 24.8mm Saturday morning and a further 29.4mm on Sunday. Weekly totals to 9am Sunday: Mount Hotham 108, Omeo 87, Waterford 83, Bairnsdale 78, Lakes Entrance 77, Glenaladale 76, Dargo 63, Ensay 60, Orbost 57, Cann River 52, Mallacoota 42.

A statewide severe weather warning was cancelled on Sunday morning, with flash flooding no longer a risk. Gippsland SES reported 20 requests for assistance since 7am on Saturday across the wider region, with calls predominantly for minor flooding and trees falling. Tambo Valley SES unit assisted with sandbagging of a key storage facility at Omeo Caravan Park on Saturday, supported by the local community. About 110 sandbags were laid against the rising waters of Livingstone Creek. Fallen rocks partially blocked the westbound lane of Benambra Road at Hinnomunjie, however East Gippsland Shire Council and Victoria Police were on scene yesterday making arrangements to clear the road completely. The road was still open to traffic. Gippsland SES said emergency services had been impressed with the Gippsland community’s cooperation and care taken during the rain event. No major flooding was occurring across Gippsland at the time of going to press, however there were minor flood warnings for the Mitchell and Macalister rivers. Meanwhile, in the far east bushfires continued to burn. The Cann River – Mueller Road fire, impacting Wingan River, Tamboon and Point Hicks had grown to 5000 hectares, 16km south-east of Cann River. Rain and overcast conditions had, however, suppressed fire activity. The Chandlers Creek, 10km north-east of Noorinbee North, was also not under control.