Be alert, but not alarmed, with more rain predicted

While some rain is expected to fall this week, weather authorities are stressing it will be substantially less than what Gippsland received last week, and is not expected to result in more severe weather. Pictured, Sam Crothers snapped this photo of a double rainbow, claiming somewhere in Maffra there must've been a pot of gold. "Unfortunately it’s not in Gibney St," he said. "A welcome break from the grey and overcast skies."

AUTHORITIES are warning people to stay alert but not alarmed, as rain begins to fall over the next few days in Gippsland.
While some more substantial rainfall is likely to fall on Gippsland towards the weekend, the Bureau of Meteorology is stressing it is significantly less rain than the rainfall the region received last week, and will not result in a return to severe weather conditions.
The bureau’s Michael Laczko reminded people there were still a few minor flood warnings current across the state – locally, there are minor flood warnings issued for the Latrobe and Thomson rivers and the Gippsland Lakes.
“While all these catchments are generally easing, they are easing quite gradually, so we’ll still probably hang onto at least some of these warning for the next few days,” he said.
Mr Laczko said he was expecting a bit more rain to develop this week, with some rain and some showers likely to push across the state during Wednesday.
“We should see maybe 15 to 25 millimetres about the ranges, including the Grampians, the central ranges and the north-east ranges, with five to15mm through northern Victoria – however, through Gippsland where things are quite wet, we’re not expecting very much at all,” he said.
“We’re expecting less than two millimetres tomorrow through Gippsland, but generally three to eight millimetres of rain through central Victoria, Melbourne and the south-west.
“On Thursday, we’re still expecting some showers around … once again, Gippsland is largely expected to be dry, with less than two millimetres.
“On Friday though, we are expecting some more moderate rainfall to push into the Gippsland area.
“At present, it looks like 10 to 25mm of rain is expected through most of Gippsland on Friday, with five to 15mm of rain expected in other southern areas of Victoria, with lighter falls north of the divide.
“Any severe weather is looking quite unlikely for Friday.
“Into Saturday, the rain will continue about Gippsland, but again, it’s easing with 10 to 20mm falling about Gippsland, and no severe conditions expected.
“Conditions are fining up for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and [there will be] some largely dry days early next week.”
Mr Laczko said the bureau’s flood team was monitoring Friday’s rainfall situation closely, as it was likely some renewed river rises would occur, but it was “extremely unlikely we’ll see any significant flooding concerns”.
“We may see some isolated catchments reach up to minor flood level again, but anything higher than that is extremely unlikely,” he said.
“At present, we’re not expecting any damaging winds or strong winds across the state, however we are expecting some thunderstorms about northern parts of the state tomorrow, and we might see some stormy or gusty conditions about northern Victoria near the New South Wales border.
“Apart from that, we’re not expecting any damaging winds in the forecast period.”
Mr Laczko urged people to stay up to date with current warnings – particularly the current flood warnings, as those flood waters would still remain above hazardous levels above minor flood level for another day or so.
Boat owners are being warned to avoid the Gippsland Lakes until floodwaters have subsided, because of the risk of colliding with debris.
Recent heavy rain has caused flooding in Gippsland, which has in turn caused branches and large trees to be flushed through the river systems and into Gippsland Lakes.
The Paynesville Coast Guard is warning the debris represents a navigational hazard to boating on the lakes “for an extended period of time”.
“The risk of collision with floating and submerged debris is considerable,” a spokesperson warned.
The search and rescue organisation is advising skippers and crews to remain extra vigilant when boating during the next few weeks.
“If you collide with debris and your vessel is holed and taking on water, immediately call 000 and ask for marine assistance,” the spokesperson said.
“Always ensure you and your passengers are wearing life jackets and your emergency equipment and training is clear and up to date.
“Avoid going on the water at this point until the weather event and its resulting flooding has subsided.”
Southern Rural Water is also reminding people that its Glenmaggie and Cowwarr recreational areas remain closed to the public, as it undertakes a clean-up effort to remove debris after the floods.
“We have project teams and machinery across our sites clearing debris and securing sites,” a spokesperson said.
“Visitors can cause dangerous situations with parking and traffic and pedestrians.
“Our staff need to concentrate on managing the clean-up of our eastern storage areas effectively so appreciate if the community can keep clear, particularly at Cowwarr Weir.
“We have significant amount of debris that we are trying to clear to keep our operations safe.
“We want you to stay safe too.”
The water authority began spilling at Glenmaggie and Cowwarr weirs last week, and will continue until storage levels stop rising.
Southern Rural Water says it is managing Glenmaggie Weir levels in anticipation of rain later this week, and more information will be available as the forecasts stabilise.
Currently at 85 per cent, Glenmaggie will continue to have small releases under 5000 megalitres per day as part of ongoing management, which is expected to continue until mid-week.
At Cowwarr Weir, spills of 2510 megalitres per day are continuing to slow, and the gates of the weir have been lifted above water level to allow free flow as levels drop.
To keep up with the latest warnings, visit bom.gov.au or emergency.vic.gov.au.