The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds and heavy rainfall across parts of Victoria, including the Latrobe Valley.
The latest advice issued at 8.48 am today, is a warning for people in Central, East Gippsland, Northern Country, North Central, North East and West and South Gippsland Forecast Districts.
A low pressure system will develop off the southern NSW coast today and rapidly deepen near the East Gippsland coast tonight.
Heavy rainfall which may lead to flash flooding is expected to develop across the warning area from late this morning.
The period of heaviest rainfall is expected from early this evening through to tomorrow morning.
24 hour rainfall totals from late this morning to late tomorrow morning are expected to be 70 to 120mm across the warning area, reaching 150 to 250mm about higher terrain in West Gippsland.
Damaging and destructive winds averaging 50 to 60 km/h with peak gusts of 90 to 100 km/h, are expected to develop about western parts of the warning area during the early hours of this morning, then extend to central and eastern parts of the warning area during the afternoon and evening.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* 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.
* 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.
* Stay away from fallen powerlines – always assume they are live.
* Be aware that in fire affected areas, rainfall run-off into waterways may contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks. Heavy rainfall may also increase the potential for landslides and debris across roads.