The weather crisis in Victoria has gone from bad to worse, with the discovery of another body and a second evacuation order for a flood-stricken town.
Victoria Police said the woman’s body was found in a vehicle at Glenfyne, in the state’s south-west, on Friday morning.
While the body is yet to be formally identified, police believe it is that of 20-year-old woman Nina (no surname provided), who was reported missing from nearby Simpson on Wednesday.
The exact circumstances surrounding the woman’s death are yet to be determined but police are not treating it as suspicious. They will prepare a report for the coroner.
Meanwhile, in the state’s east, parts of the Gippsland town of Traralgon were ordered to evacuate for the second time in two days on Friday, with floodwaters expected to rise rapidly.
Emergency Victoria said major flooding was expected on the Traralgon Creek, with up to 50 millimetres more rain in the already drenched catchment.
“Renewed rapid river level rises are expected from overnight Friday with minor to moderate flooding expected to develop [in the] early hours of Saturday,” it said.
Traralgon Creek was expected to rise to 3.5 metres on Friday night and up to 4.8 metres by Saturday morning.
The urgent warning came as Victoria’s wild weather in Victoria showed no signs of easing.
Acting Premier James Merlino thanked SES workers working “incredibly hard in dangerous situations”. In the 48 hours to midday Friday, there had been 7400 requests for assistance and there remained 121,000 homes without power, he said.
“We know it is not over yet,” he said.
“It was quite extraordinary leaving home and driving through the Dandenongs to work this morning, having a few different routes to go through to get off the mountain – massive trees across homes, across the roads.”
Victoria SES chief officer Tim Wiebusch said there had been 42 flood rescues in 48 hours. About 2500 requests for assistance still needed to be cleared.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned more rain is on the way for the Gippsland region.
While it will be well short of the 270-millimetre deluge the region has already endured, it will affect catchments that are already flooding.
A strong wind warning was also issued on Friday for Gippsland Lakes and the eastern and central Gippsland coasts.
There’s a flood warning for the South Gippsland Highway between Sale and Longford, but a flood evacuation warning for Traralgon Creek has been lifted.
“There’s a risk of further rainfall, which may lead to further (water) rises in the area,” SES agency commander Jackson Bell said of the Gippsland region.
“We’re watching that pretty intently over the next 24 hours.”
Apart from the Gippsland area, Mr Bell said people were still without power in Trentham, eastern metropolitan Melbourne, the Yarra Ranges and the Dandenongs after high winds tore through those areas.
“Overnight we’ve tried to [consolidate] … with much work done in preparation for another big day ahead,” he said.
A man was found dead in his submerged car at the coastal Gippsland town of Woodside on Thursday afternoon.
Those already in a safe place in Gippsland are urged to stay put for the next 24 to 48 hours, when most of the flooding is expected to move through.
Authorities are pleading with locals not to drive through floodwaters.
Two SES members were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries after separate tree-related incidents.
Meanwhile, Sydney shivered through its coldest day in 25 years on Thursday as the cold front affected much of the eastern seaboard.
The cold air mass that blew in from Antarctica, sent temperatures plummeting and caused widespread snowfalls all the way up to the Queensland border.