Joint media release - Be flood ready during the wet weather

Thursday 25 August, 2022

With wet weather and water storages nearing capacity, Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) and the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) are encouraging communities to prepare themselves and their properties in the event of a flood.

Hume Dam and Dartmouth Dam are close to their full supply level, while Lake Buffalo, Lake Nillahcootie, Lake William Hovell, Newlyn Reservoir and Hepburns Lagoon are passing all passing flows downstream.

GMW is also currently assessing the need to commence releases from Lake Eildon to manage air space, with the storage is currently above 90 per cent capacity.

GMW Water Storage Services general manager Martina Cusack said it was important people are equipped for potential flooding.

“Above-average rainfall is expected in all catchments in northern Victoria and there is an increased chance of flooding,” Ms Cusack said.

“If you have a dam that can cause downstream damage should it fail, we encourage you to take some general precautions including inspecting and monitoring your dam, clearing spillways and outlet pipes to help pass flood water, and repairing any cracks and other defects.”

The Bureau of Meteorology has moved the ENSO Outlook to La Nina Alert, meaning the chance of La Nina forming in the coming months has increased to about 70 per cent.

VICSES Acting Assistant Chief Officer, Brendan Corboy urged residents to be flood ready.

“If you have not yet done so, now is a good time to develop your personalised flood emergency plan for your home and property,” Mr Corboy said.

“Having a plan means that when the time to act comes you can think clearly and make better decisions”, he said.

“Get ready before the rain falls. We know this spring is expected to be wetter than average. Understanding your risk and early preparation is the best defence against flooding. Although you home may not be at direct risk from riverine flooding your community could be isolated by floodwater

"As VICSES continues to review its township-based local flood guides. There are now over 140 local guides available for at risk flood townships. We strongly encourage members of the community to go the VICSES interactive maps to look up their Local Flood Guides.

“If you ever come across floodwater, it’s vital you never enter it. It can take just 15cm of water for a small car to float or lose traction, it may be the last decision you ever make.” 

People can further prepare by:

  • Checking the Bureau of Meteorology’s website or the BOM Weather app to stay up to date with the latest weather forecasts and warnings: Warnings and flood
  • Staying up to date with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s weekly river report at the MDBA website.
  • Checking the VicEmergency website or app.