Victoria flooding: 42 Melbourne suburbs at risk as Maribyrnong river rises

Thousands of Melbourne residents are being urged to evacuate on Friday with many suburbs at high risk of flooding.

As the Maribyrnong River, northwest of the city, continues to rise residents of Maribyrnong, just 10kms from the CBD, have been told to leave with several streets already under water.

42 suburbs including Essendon, Ascot Vale, Keilor, Footscray, and Sunshine have also been issued a "watch and act".

Homes and businesses are underwater in suburbs around Melbourne after Maribyrnong River in Victoria flooded
Homes and businesses are underwater in suburbs around Melbourne after the Maribyrnong River in Victoria flooded on Friday morning. Source: Nine News

Elsewhere in Victoria, evacuation orders are also in place for Rochester along the Campaspe River, Carisbrook near Maryborough and Seymour on the Goulburn River.

In Rochester, residents were told to abandon homes with rapidly rising floodwaters likely to inundate the area and leave 700 properties isolated from early Friday. The Campaspe River was slated to peak in the afternoon.

There are currently 92 flood emergency warnings in place, with 391 incidents reported around metropolitan and regional Victoria as the rain flows into major catchments and has resulted in rivers rising to dangerous levels overnight.

Victoria's State Emergency Service has carried out 108 flood rescues across the state in the past 48 hours and State Commander Josh Gamble said complacency was the main reason.

"That is quite significant and we haven't had that many flood rescues for quite some time, for some years in fact," he told ABC Radio on Friday.

"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."

Police have set up roadblocks and are doorknocking homes as flooding is expected to reach above floor level for single-storey homes.

"We've known for several days now the Maribyrnong River was going to be a risk and we've had a watch-and-act warning out for several days now on that riverm and houses were doorknocked there a couple of days ago to alert residents as to the potential," Tim Wiebusch from the SES said earlier today.

"Now we're starting to see the major flood level being reached. "

Videos and photos shared on social media show cars submerged by water, debris being carried down fast-flowing rivers and some buildings, roads and petrol stations already underwater.

While the rainfall has subsided, flooding is expected to continue for days.

Speaking to the ABC, Premier Daniel Andrews said the suburbs of Benalla, Wedderburn, the Maribyrnong, Carisbrook, Seymour and Rochester were among his "chief concerns."

“The most important thing is just to say to people get the best information, please be aware of your circumstances,” he said.

“If people are being called out driving through floodwaters, that is dangerous for you and it is really dangerous for the emergency services (and the) volunteer or career staffer who has to come and save you.”

with AAP

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