Missing man found clinging to tree in Melbourne flood crisis

A man who was reported missing after driving through floodwaters in central Victoria has been found, it's been reported.

SES first received the report of a missing person at Newbridge, on the Loddon River near Bendigo, around midday as parts of the state grapple with a flooding emergency.

Police said the man drove his Toyota Landcruiser through floodwaters and was washed downstream, Nine News reported.

But he was rescued an hour later and was found clinging to a tree branch.

SES workers are seen in Maribyrnong, Melbourne during Victoria floods
SES workers have responded to thousands of requests with one man going missing in Victoria floods Source: AAP

200 people rescued, thousands request help

SES chief operations officer Tim Wiebusch said they received the report earlier today.

"Just before coming into this media conference, we did have a report of a missing person at Newbridge and a search and rescue are out there at the moment," he told reporters earlier on Friday.

There have not been any other reports of missing persons but SES has responded to more than 2600 requests for help in 24 hours and rescued at least 200 people in two days.

State commander Josh Gamble said complacency was the main reason for people getting into trouble.

"Many of these people are putting their own lives at risk, their own children in some circumstances, but more importantly, other community members and responders and that's in all parts of the state not just metropolitan areas," he told ABC.

Woman rescued from floodwater in Maribyrnong, Melbourne during floods
A woman is rescued from floodwater in Maribyrnong, Melbourne on Friday. Source: AAP
A submerged car in Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Friday during floods
So far, 500 homes have flooded and another 500 have been isolated, as floodwaters continue to rise. Source: AAP

So far, 500 homes have flooded and another 500 have been isolated as evacuation orders continue.

Residents in Rochester along the Campaspe River, north of Melbourne, the central goldfields town of Carisbrook near Maryborough, Skinners Flat in Wedderburn and Seymour on the Goulburn River have all been told to leave.

About 70 residents were ordered to leave Maribyrnong in Melbourne as photos and video show homes, businesses and roads underwater.

Victorians urged to heed warnings

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced one-off payments of $560 per adult and $280 per child for people displaced by the floods.

About 1500 applications had been made by Friday afternoon.

He also urged Victorians to heed warnings.

Sandbags in floodwater along a strip of businesses in Rochester, Victoria
Sandbags are being used to help protect businesses as flooding also affects Rochester, Victoria, Friday. Source: AAP

"Please do not drive into floodwater," Mr Andrews told reporters on Friday.

"We have had more than 200 rescues and many of those could have been prevented. The key point here is it's very dangerous for you and it's also very dangerous for the emergency services."

The federal member for the Melbourne seat of Maribyrnong, Bill Shorten, said the situation was devastating.

"It's really upsetting for residents in my local community," Mr Shorten told reporters in Melbourne.

"These are areas where I've lived for the last 30 years. The last big floods were in 1974, so for a lot of people this would be a new and devastating experience."

Dog is brought to dry land by SES workers in Maribyrnong, Melbourne, during floods
SES workers have rescued animals and people with multiple towns being evacuated. Source: AAP

More flooding expected

A Victoria SES spokesperson said more than 50 sandbag collection points had been established, with more becoming available throughout the state.

Multiple emergency relief centres have been set up including in Bendigo, Seymour, Echuca, Wedderburn and Maryborough.

Traffic has been disrupted across the state, regional V/Line trains and replacement buses were cancelled on the Shepparton, Seymour, Albury, Echuca and Swan Hill lines.

The historical town of Seymour, 100km north of Melbourne, is facing its highest flood level since 1974.

Authorities also expect Shepparton in the Goulburn Valley to experience its worst flood in almost three decades on Saturday.

with AAP

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