Seven consecutive days of flooding rain has wreaked havoc on urban infrastructure and utilities in Victoria, prompting utilities to prepare for service disruptions.
Water utilities have advised residents to avoid sewer overflows amid the ongoing floods, while the Victorian Government commits $500,000 to assist in flood-recovery clean up efforts in its newly-announced Council Flood Support Fund.
The Bureau of Meteorology predicts flood impacts will continue over the weekend and into next week, with widespread moderate to major flooding across Central and Northern Victoria.
Major flooding is occurring or is forecast for the Wimmera, Avoca, Loddon, Campaspe, Goulburn, Broken, Seven and Castle creeks, Ovens and King and the Murray rivers.
Goulburn Murray Water (GMW) has advised residents of sewer gully overflows due to ongoing and anticipated flood events causing significant infiltration of floodwater into the sewer network, creating a backlog on the network.
An overflow gully is a drain-like fitting located outside the home, that allows sewage to overflow away from the interior of your home to an outside area of the property. The sewage will push out through the gully if there is a sewer blockage or the network can’t cope during heavy rain, storms or floods.
Excess sewage can spread diseases and should be avoided, The overflows should naturally resolve once flood water has subsided, but residents should continue to report overflows to GMW (1800 188 586).
Given the broad impact to GMW Water infrastructure it may take operators longer than usual to attend the overflow during the flood event.
In responding to the ongoing crisis, the Victorian Government has established the $500,000 Council Flood Support Fund in addition to its existing Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
The fund will support the 24 local government areas most affected by the floods and related damage, and was first announced by Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews.
“Local councils are on the frontline of recovery efforts – we’re giving them extra support so they can help their communities when they need it most,” Mr Andrews said.
“We’re at our best when we work together, every level of government is ready to stand with local communities as we repair the damage that’s been done.”
Clean-up activities supported through the fund include the collection and removal of debris deposited on council parks, reserves and community assets, transportation costs, staffing and restoration of community services.
For all the latest flood warnings visit: http://www.bom.gov.au/vic/warnings/ and enable notifications for your location through the Bureau Weather app.
Check safety advice for your community from SES, including emergency warnings via Vic Emergency website or app.