Record downpours drench bone-dry state
Mini tornado turns caravan park into ‘bomb site’
But the rain wasn’t good news for everyone, with a mini tornado causing more than $1 million of damage at Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park in the state’s west, according to The Warrnambool Standard.
Camperdown SES unit controller Colin Brian told The Standard the park looked like a bomb site.
“I have never seen anything like it,” he said.
“I haven’t been so overwhelmed by a scene since the rail crossing crash out at Lismore, and that’s going back a few years now… There were cabins and boats strewn everywhere. We could smell gas so the CFA was called in too.”
Rainfall across the state
By 9am on Thursday, Geelong had received 21mm, Avalon 30mm and 36mm fell at Lara.
Other notable totals included 28mm at Mildura – more than the May monthly average of 25mm – and 56mm fell at Westmere, near Lake Bolac.
However, other dry parts of the state’s west, including Ouyen and Nhill, received next to nothing.
The Bureau of Meteorology predicts the heavy rain will move into north-eastern Victoria today, with between 30 and 70mm expected in some parts. Some north-eastern areas could even receive 100mm.
Gardeners delighted with overnight deluge
The much-wanted rain has eased drought-like conditions across much of the state, including Melbourne, which had received just 49mm for the year before Thursday morning. The long-term average between January and April is about 200mm.
“In Melbourne, it’s been the driest start to the year on record – that’s the case for a number of places across western Victoria,” Mr Dickson said.
“It’s either the driest start to the year on record, or the driest since 1923. Either way, it’s been a very dry start. Gardens around Melbourne and also farmers – everyone’s been hanging out for some rain.”
Last month, Victoria’s shadow water minister Stephanie Ryan called for water restrictions to be reintroduced in Melbourne after water storages plummeted 10 per cent since the beginning of the year – a drop as sharp as any that occurred during the Millennium drought.
Leaking roofs, fallen trees keep SES busy
But while the rain has been welcomed with open arms in many parts of the state, some Victorians were counting the cost of damage on Thursday morning.
SES crews responded to 125 reports for assistance between 6pm Wednesday and 6am Thursday, mostly in Rosebud on the Mornington Peninsula and at Stawell. The majority of calls were for leaking roofs and fallen trees.
Zach is a breaking news reporter for The Age.