Just days after out-of-control fires ripped through bushland, threatening homes and lives, flood waters inundated the region.

Tinamba, Tinamba West, Newry, Mewburn Park, Bellbird Corner, Riverslea and Maffra residents were issued an emergency evacuation warning on Wednesday afternoon after 24-hour rainfalls of up to 100 millimetres were recorded across Wellington Shire.

In the 24 hours to 1am on Thursday, more than 80mm of rain had fallen, with emergency warnings advising people to move to higher ground issued at about 4pm for residents in the vicinity of the Macalister River downstream to Lake Glenmaggie and the Port of Sale.

Floods hit the Sale region last week following bushfires in surrounding areas. Photos: Zoe Askew

The SES door-knocked 120 properties near the Port of Sale on Thursday to warn of flooding impacts, with the local emergency and rescue service receiving more than 100 calls for help from communities in the 24 hours leading up to Friday.

Emergency warnings were upgraded late Thursday night, advising residents to evacuate immediately, with the Thomson River expected to exceed the moderate flood level of three metres early Friday morning and possibly the major flood level of four metres at about noon.

Sale, Tinamba, Tinamba West, Maffra and Newry emergency warnings were all downgraded by noon on Friday to either a watch and act or advice message with the State Emergency Service saying the Thomson River peaked at 3.66 metres at about 2pm, lower than the predicted major flood level.

The Macalister River peaked at the major flood level of 6.96 metres early Thursday morning, dropping to 2.65 metres downstream of Lake Glenmaggie on Friday evening.

Emergency services cautioned evacuated residents on Friday night that returning home was unsafe despite emergency warning downgrades.

An indication of just how much rain has fallen around Port of Sale in recent days. Photos: Zoe Askew

Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes and Emergency Management Victoria Commissioner Rick Nugent hosted a press conference at the State Control Centre on Friday morning to provide an update on the floods impacting the region.

“At the outset, very pleased to report that there have not been any injuries and people have been on the whole following the advice from officials,” Ms Symes said.

“Earlier this morning, a water rescue was successfully completed by VIC SES and VIC Police Specialist Landbased Swift Rescue crews for two people who were trapped on the roof of their vehicle in flood waters in Bairnsdale.”

Ms Symes urged the public not to drive through flood waters.

“We see time and time again, in basically every flood since I’ve been Emergency Services Minister, of people taking that risk,” she said.

“It is very dangerous for yourself, and it also puts at risk the lives of those who are called to rescue you, so please avoid flood waters at all costs.”

Mr Nugent said rainfall for the floods had been significant, with between 200 to 350 millimetres recorded in parts across the state.

Port of Sale flood.
Water in the Port of Sale spilled well over capacity. Photos: Zoe Askew

At 11.53am on Sunday, a Moderate Flood Warning was issued for Thomson River downstream of Wandocka and remained in place at the time of going to press (Monday morning).

The Vic Emergency warning stated that moderate flooding continues to ease at Sale Wharf.

Elsewhere, clean-up continues for those affected by recent bushfires. Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien visited locals in Loch Sport last Friday.

Completing the trifecta, a 3.1 magnitude earthquake was recorded 35km east of Bairnsdale just after midnight on Saturday.

“Moderate flooding is slowly easing along the Thomson River at Sale Wharf,” the warning read.

“No significant rainfall has been recorded in the 24 hours to 9:00 am Sunday.

“No significant rainfall is forecast across the Thomson River catchment over the next few days.

“The Thomson River at Sale Wharf is currently at 3.05 metres and falling, with moderate flooding.

“The Thomson River at Sale Wharf is likely to fall below the moderate flood level (3.00 m) early Sunday afternoon.

“The river level is likely to remain above the minor flood level (2.40 m) during Monday.”

Emergency services continue to assess the damage of floods that replaced uncontrollable bushfires last week, with the SES predicting that up to 130 homes in the region west of Maffra could be flooded.

Early impact assessments confirmed at least three homes were inundated in the Newry and Tinamba area.

Conditions ease, but more rain expected

According to Bureau of Meteorology forecasts, rain is expected to have eased for now, with today’s weather partly cloudy with a high of 18 degrees and a low of four degrees.

Tomorrow is set to be mostly sunny, with a high of 23 degrees and a low of three degrees.

On Thursday, it will be partly cloudy with a very high chance of showers and the chance of a thunderstorm in the afternoon and evening.

Friday is expected to be cloudy, with a medium chance of showers; Saturday, cloudy with a high chance of showers; and Sunday, cloudy with a high chance of showers.

On Friday, Ms Symes reminded those affected by floods that support payments are available.

“If you’re able to attend a pay relief centre in person, they can help you there; otherwise, you can access the VicEmergency website (emergency.vic.gov.au/relief), or you can call 1800, 226 226.”