Evacuation order for Gippsland residents

·2-min read

The threat of major flooding has prompted an evacuation order for anyone in the Traralgon Creek area of Victoria's Gippsland region.

The Latrobe Valley area is the latest concern for emergency services amid wild weather this week that has claimed two lives.

A woman was found in a vehicle on Friday in floodwaters off Maddens Bridge Rd at Glenfyne, about 200km southwest of Melbourne.

Victoria Police said she is believed to be a woman named Nina who went missing from nearby Simpson on Wednesday.

A report will be prepared for the coroner and the death is not being treated as suspicious.

A man was found dead in his submerged car at the coastal Gippsland town of Woodside on Thursday afternoon.

More rainfall is expected for large parts of the state overnight with authorities issuing warnings about public safety particularly at Traralgon and Sale in Gippsland, and Yarra Glen in the Yarra Ranges.

Anyone living, working or holidaying in the Traralgon Creek area has been ordered to evacuate before nightfall. An emergency warning just after 5pm said major flooding was possible at Traralgon town overnight.

The Traralgon Creek is expected to reach a 'major' flood level of 4.8m by Saturday morning.

"We are expecting to see another 80-100mm of rain over the Traralgon catchment later today and throughout the night," said SES chief officer operations Tim Wiebusch earlier on Friday.

Emergency advice issued just before 7pm for the Sale region said the Thomson River at Sale Wharf was at 2.4m and rising.

The South Gippsland Highway is now closed between Sale and Longford.

Winds of up to 60km/h through the region makes for hazardous driving conditions as soils are saturated and already fragile trees could fall, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

Local travellers are warned to beware of mud, debris and damaged roads and bridges.

Residents along the Yarra River from Millgrove to Coldstream are advised to evacuate if it becomes necessary.

The weather front that has brought cold temperatures to much of the eastern seaboard hit Victoria on Wednesday night.

SES Victoria has had more than 7400 requests for help, with about 5800 related to fallen trees.

About 2500 of those requests are yet to be cleared.

Mr Wiebusch said as of mid-Friday afternoon, more than 100,000 homes were still without power and 100 roads remained closed, particularly through the Dandenong Ranges.

A strong wind warning was also issued on Friday for Gippsland Lakes and the eastern and central Gippsland coasts.

Those already in a safe place in Gippsland are urged to stay put for the next 24 to 48 hours when most of the flooding is expected to move through.

Authorities are pleading with locals not to drive through floodwaters.

Two SES members were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after separate tree-related incidents.