Now we clean up

Eleanor Venables

DESPITE residents being warned to prepare to evacuate on Wednesday, night Loch Sport avoided severe flooding late last week, with the SES declaring the town safe to return to on Friday.

Some residents took heedEleanor Venables

DESPITE residents being warned to prepare to evacuate on Wednesday, night Loch Sport avoided severe flooding late last week, with the SES declaring the town safe to return to on Friday.

Some residents took heed of the warning and left Loch Sport late last week, but more remained, confident the town would weather the storm.

While most towns avoided major flooding, the rural communities of Wellington Shire face a massive clean-up task with hundreds of kilometres of fencing, thousands of hectares of pasture, fodder and winter crops swept away.

The residents of Port Albert (subject to the contentious C33 flood overlay) were spared any inundation despite both the Tarra and Albert Rivers flooding.

The State Emergency Service notified residents of Loch Sport, Raymond Island, Paynesville and Lakes Entrance to prepare to evacuate on Wednesday night.

Yet the towns narrowly avoided major flooding, and the SES lifted the evacuation notice on Friday afternoon, declaring the townships safe to return to after water levels peaked.

Residents from Hollands Landing were finally told it was safe to return home on Sunday after being ordered to evacuate by the SES late last Tuesday night.

Several displaced residents from Hollands Landing found shelter at the flood relief centre at Sale Baptist Church.

Estimates on Thursday morning showed about 100 people had registered at the centre.

The South Gippsland Highway, as of yesterday morning, was still flooded between Sale and Longford, with residents having to detour via Rosedale.