Bureau of Meteorology issues severe weather warning for heavy rainfall

Staff writers

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for heavy rainfall across Gippsland, including the Latrobe Valley.

The warning was issued at 1.58pm today for people in East Gippsland, West and South Gippsland and parts of North East Forecast Districts.

Locations which may be affected include Morwell, Traralgon, Sale, Moe, Maffra and Falls Creek.

As rainfall becomes more persistent this evening, heavy rainfall which may lead to flash flooding may develop over southern parts of the West and South Gippsland district from around midnight tonight, extending to the remainder of the warning area during Tuesday morning.

Rainfall totals of around 20-40mm over 12 hours are expected more broadly within the warning area, with localised totals to around 80mm about the peaks and also associated with embedded thunderstorm activity.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:

* Be aware that in fire affected areas, rainfall run-off into waterways may contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks.

* Be alert that in areas recently affected by fires, heavy rainfall increases the potential for landslides and debris across roads.

* Be aware – heat, fire or recent storms may make trees unstable and more likely to fall when it’s windy or wet.

* Check that loose items, such as outdoor settings, umbrellas and trampolines are safely secured. Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.

* Stay indoors and away from windows.

* If outdoors, move to a safe place indoors. Stay away from trees, drains, gutters, creeks and waterways.

* If driving conditions are dangerous, safely pull over away from trees, drains, low-lying areas and floodwater. Avoid travel if possible.

* Stay safe by avoiding dangerous hazards, such as floodwater, mud, debris, damaged roads and fallen trees.

* Stay away from fallen power lines – always assume they are live.

* Stay informed: Monitor weather warnings, forecasts and river levels at the Bureau of Meteorology website, and warnings through VicEmergency website/app/hotline.