Thousands of residents are without power this morning after severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall lashed Melbourne.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) issued several weather warnings for “very dangerous thunderstorms” with intense rainfall that may lead to “life-threatening flash flooding” over northern and western Melbourne, and the southern Macedon Ranges.
As many as 4000 homes are in darkness after the storms swept in from north-western parts of Victoria, triggering flash flooding in regions such as Kyneton.
Photos show local traders in the town trying to salvage their businesses, pushing floodwaters out of their shopfronts as streets fill with pools of water.
The Telstra exchange building in Kyneton has also flooded, but services in the area have not been impacted at this stage.
Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Jackson Browne said 56mm of rainfall was recorded this morning in just an hour.
“So just to give you an idea of how high-end some of these rainfall rates are.
“We’ve got very tropical air over Victoria and Melbourne included. We are seeing very slow-moving thunderstorms which is why we’re warning for severe thunderstorms leading to heavy rainfall.”
The BoM advised the severe storms had eased a little across Melbourne just before 10am, but were likely to still bring heavy rainfall throughout the day that could lead to flash flooding across Melbourne’s east, including the Mornington Peninsula.
Severe storm warnings have also been issued for Victoria’s east including Western Port and Phillip Island.
Arthurs Creek, a town 33kms north-east of Melbourne, recorded 41.6mm in an hour and 57.8mm in 2.5 hours. Nearby, Coldstream recorded 37.2mm in an hour.
The core of the thunderstorms could see rainfall reach up to 60mm.
“It’s not compelled to move all that quickly. So it’s really just trundling along and all the while delivering that heavy rainfall,” Mr Browne said.