'The wet food people': Woolies flooded amid storm chaos

Flash flooding and wild weather rocked much of the nation on Thursday with one Melbourne Woolworths ensuring the supermarket giant was rebranded as “the wet food people”.

Shoppers filmed staff members frantically try to sweep the rising level of water outside the store, while further rain forced another metropolitan Woolies to shut their doors completely.

The freak storm wreaked havoc on the city with the SES responding to more than 1600 calls for help throughout the day.

The powerful summer storm saw several people rescued from trapped vehicles, after brazen motorists attempted to turn their ordinary sedans into off-road machines, only to become stranded moments later.

Melbourne was inundated with flash floods when 25 millimetres of rain fell in just thirty minutes on Thursday. Source: 7 News
Staff tried to keep their cool as the Melbourne Woolworths began to flood. Source: 7 News

“(I was in) total panic mode, don’t know what do,” one P Plater said after he was forced to abandon his car through the sunroof.

Car after car was quickly swept away with multiple roadways resembling the Yarra River.

Some 25 millimetres of rain fell over the region in just half an hour and while the Bureau knew it was coming, all Victorians could do was bunker down and wait for the storm to pass.

With his mates watching on and cars floating away, this man decided it was time to fish. Source: 7 News

“It’s never been this bad, I’ve been living here for 20 years,” a soaked bystander told 7 News.

Not everyone seemed so worried though as one young angler took the time out to retrieve his fishing rod to wet a line in a flooded underpass.

A much calmer day is expected for Friday.

Motorists were urged not to drive through flood waters, as several people had been rescued from trapped vehicles. Pictures: 7 News
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued severe weather warnings for heavy rainfall and severe thunderstorm warnings across Victoria. Picture: Bureau of Meteorology