Flooding in southeastern Australia could leave hundreds of people stranded inside their homes for the next three days until the water recedes, officials said on Sunday.
Victoria state’s Gippsland region, which earlier this month was suffering drought and the after-affects of fierce summer bushfires, has been innundated by days of heavy rain.
Scores of Gippsland residents have so far evacuated and some 350 more could be house-bound for three days until the flood waters recede, State Emergency Service (SES) officials said.
SES state operations director Trevor White said while no major rain was predicted for the next few days, the area was not yet in the clear.
“Unlike fires, the path of a flood can be very unpredictable,” White said.
“Water levels will continue to rise and fall, so people need to stay on their toes until the water drains out.
“If flood waters don’t subside by lunchtime today then the people who chose to remain behind may need to settle down for the next few days.”
A combination of swollen rivers and a high tide caused by Saturday night’s full moon resulted in the water peaking, in one area at 1.33 metres (more than four feet) above normal levels. But the water was now slowly receding, White added.
One Gippsland resident who has been stranded inside her house since Friday with only her cat for company said she felt inconvenienced but not threatened by her isolation.
Rhonda Curley, who lives on Burrabogie Island, which is connected to the mainland by a man-made canal, said her pier was under 60 centimetres (two feet) of water.
“There’s just water, lots of water,” she told Australian Associated Press.
Last Mod: 01 Temmuz 2007, 10:58