/Victorian town buried under three inches of hail as heavy rains sweep state

Victorian town buried under three inches of hail as heavy rains sweep state

By Mim Cook and staff

Updated

May 10, 2019 16:08:09

A hailstorm has blanketed a coastal Gippsland town in white, while heavy rainfall across Victoria has downed trees and caused flash flooding west of Melbourne.

Key points:

  • Residents at Cape Paterson say the town is buried under “three inches of hail”
  • A cold front has already dumped more than 50 millimetres at some towns west of Melbourne
  • Heavy rainfall near Ballarat and Geelong has caused flash flooding on some roads

A cold front has been moving across Victoria from the south-west today, dumping more than 50 millimetres of rain at towns west of the capital city.

Residents in the Gippsland town of Cape Paterson, south-east of Melbourne, reported that a hailstorm had covered their beaches in white.

“It’s a freak storm,” Cape Tavern owner Michael Turton told ABC Gippsland.

“The town’s buried under three inches of hail!”

Brad Richards took a photo of one of the Cape Paterson beaches and said he had “never seen anything like it”.

“It was like the beach was covered in snow. And on the roads cars were bogged, I was driving past damaged houses. The white on the ground was nearly a foot deep.”

The State Emergency Service’s Vin Bigham said a storm cell had impacted the Wonthaggi and Bass Coast areas.

“There’s been multiple calls for assistance with flash flooding and building damage,” Mr Bigham said.

At Falls Creek, in Victoria’s Alpine district, there was snow falling almost a month before the official start of the ski season.

Heavy rains dumped west of Melbourne

Motorists across Victoria were urged to drive carefully, with large puddles and flash flooding occurring at some roads in the Ballarat area.

By 9:00am, the front had already dropped 59 millimetres at Ben Nevis near Ararat, while the Surf Coast town of Aireys Inlet had received 56mm.

The cities of Ballarat and Geelong had received 44mm and 33mm respectively, Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Richard Carlyon said.

ABC Statewide Drive presenter Nicole Chvastek said water was “cascading” over the road between Dean and Ballarat, washing hazardous dirt and gravel into the path of cars.

Some Melbourne suburbs recorded rainfall of up to 15 millimetres in just 15 minutes.

Forecasts had predicted 11mm of rain in Melbourne, which would have been enough to deliver the city its wettest day of 2019.

But the city gauge received 7mm of rain before 9:00am and Mr Carlyon said it was unlikely enough rain would fall to make the record before Saturday morning.

Farmers keen for rain

Earlier, Mr Carlyon said it was not unusual to see steady rainfalls at this time of year, but the exceptionally dry start to 2019 would make this “useful rain”.

He said about two-thirds of Victoria received 25mm last week but large areas missed much-needed falls.

“Farmers have been waiting, it’s been such a dry start to the year,” he said.

“Places that missed out last week will hopefully pick up some useful rain this time.”

Mr Delamotte said the best of the rainfall for Gippsland would arrive later in the afternoon and evening, when parts of East Gippsland could see falls of around 15-20mm.

However the rest of Gippsland was unlikely to get more than 10mm.

Topics:

rainfall,

weather,

emergency-planning,

drought,

snowfall,

rural,

melbourne-3000,

lakes-entrance-3909,

leongatha-3953,

morwell-3840,

vic

First posted

May 09, 2019 17:26:01