Flooding worsens in Victoria with thousands of residents told to evacuate ‘immediately’ and move to higher ground

Thousands of Victorian residents have been told to “evacuate immediately” as the torrential rainfall and flooding continue into Thursday night.

Vic Emergency is reporting over 600 incidents and 98 emergency warnings from across the state.

Residents in Seymour, Rochester and Carisbrook with an evacuate immediately warning from emergency services with floodwaters “rapidly rising”.

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Vic Emergency told those in Carisbrook to travel to a relief centre at Maryborough Sports and Leisure Centre, a friend’s home in a safe location or an unaffected area.

The safest evacuation route out has been identified as the Pyrenees Highway.

Anyone in Seymour located in the area bounded by the Goulburn River to Redbank Road, along the Goulburn Valley Highway to Whiteheads Creek up to the railway line and along the bridge crossing the river to the south, it is recommended they Evacuate Immediately.

Displaced residents can travel to a relief centre at the Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre at Chittick Park or a friend’s home in an unaffected area with the safest exit route on Anzac Avenue.

Emergency services have warned major flooding in Seymour is imminent and that rivers could reach levels similar to those seen during the 1974 flood.

Those living in Rochester were also directed to evacuate immediately before the major flooding is expected to hit from 10am on Friday.

Residents looking for somewhere to go can visit a relief centre at Echuca United Football Netball Club at 252 High Street Echuca or a family or friend’s home in an unaffected area.

The safest route for the residents in Rochester is the Northern Highway.

The Campaspe River is currently seeing major flooding with emergency services warning it may be higher than the 2011 flooding event.

The river will begin rising from Thursday night and will peak on Friday afternoon but the flooding is not expected to subside for up to 10 days.

Victorians travelling by car have been told not to drive through floodwaters and to be wary of mud, debris, damaged roads and fallen trees.

Move to higher ground warnings have also been issued to those from Lake Eppalock to Barnadown, Seven Creeks to Euroa and Goulburn River Lake Eildon to Seymour.

Major flooding is imminent at Strathbogie, Galls Gap Road and Euroa with rainfalls up to 115mm recorded in the past 24 hours across the Seven and Castle Creeks catchment.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for a large part of northern Victoria on Thursday evening saying six-hourly rainfalls of 30 to 50 mm were likely, with isolated heavier falls up to 65 mm.

Damaging wind gusts reaching a peak of 90 to 100km per hour are also expected across higher areas of central and eastern Victoria while gusts of up to 130km per hour could hit alpine peaks.

Earlier in the day Premier Daniel Andrews warned residents to stay inside and not to drive or enter flood waters under any circumstances.

“Please don’t drive into flood waters, it is very dangerous for you and the person who has to come rescue you,” Mr Andrews said.

“If they’re having to come and help you because you got yourself into a preventable problem then that’s someone else they can’t provide assistance to.”

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