Due to incessant rains that followed flash floods, thousands of residents across Australia have evacuated their homes as the eastern part of the country faces a flooding emergency.
The government told residents living in parts of New South Wales, Tasmania, and Victoria to leave their homes on Friday evening. The Bureau of Meteorology said there is major to record flooding on many rivers across Tasmania and Victoria. Meanwhile, there is moderate to major flooding along several rivers in inland New South Wales.
Videos on social media revealed residents wading through knee-deep water with their pets and rescuers reaching residents at their homes by boat.
Many rivers in Victoria, including the Goulburn further north and the Maribyrnong in Melbourne’s west, reached major flood levels, which forced residents to evacuate at night.
At least 70 residents evacuated Maribyrnong with a fresh evacuation order issued on Friday afternoon.
Anglers Tavern was partially submerged because of the unprecedented rain that poured overnight. A spokesperson said they don’t have access to it currently. They said there is apparent flood damage to the venue, and they will be able to assess it depending on the weather.
Bill Shorten, the federal Labor MP for Maribyrnong, said the entire situation in the area was devastating. He said the disaster was upsetting for residents in the local community.
For residents of Rochester living along the Campaspe River, the government put an emergency alert to leave immediately in place.
New South Wales
As the effects of the flooding are felt across New South Wales, hundreds of people have evacuated while rescuers drive teachers to work using firetrucks. Hundreds of people spent the night in evacuation centres.
Reports reveal that at least 250 properties were subject to isolation or evacuation orders in Forbes after the Lachlan River reached its major flooding mark. According to the SES, the orders affected at least 550 people in a town of 8,000.
Although the water was not estimated to enter classrooms, Forbes Public School was closed.
Norm Haley from the Forbes Community Mens’ Shed said several farmers had been isolated for weeks after the flood entered their driveways. They are worried about what’s still in the heavens, what has not fallen yet.
Because heavy rains and burst creeks have saturated rural properties for several months, farmers have lost crops or have been unable to sow them.
The flooding crisis intensified in Tasmania overnight, and the government made more evacuation orders.
SES acting director Leon Smith told ABC that because this is a dangerous period, Tasmanians must not be complacent at this time. He said that all the rain that has fallen at the higher altitudes will still find its way through the riverine systems.
Flood-hit villages in the north and north-west Tasmania went into a “danger period” as waters rose. The government issued evacuation and isolation orders for places along rivers and parts of Launceston.
While heavy rain that began on Wednesday night eased on Friday morning, records were broken, with the Great Lake region reaching 398 mm in about a day.
Residents along the swollen Mersey and Meander rivers, in the Launceston suburb of Newstead, and downstream of Lake Isandula dam, were given the warning to evacuate. Those living near the St. Patricks River were also issued a move-to-higher-ground emergency warning.