Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued for parts of Gippsland

Alyssa Fritzlaff

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Wellington shire and surrounding areas.

Central, West and South Gippsland are expected to be impacted by the storm, as well as parts of East Gippsland, Mallee, Northern Country, North Central and the Wimmera Forecast District.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has predicted very heavy to locally intense rainfall and damaging winds.

Severe thunderstorms could lead to “life-threatening flash flooding”, damaging winds and large hailstones in the affected areas over the next several hours.

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.

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

The next weather warning is due to be issued by 5.40pm.