Weather Melbourne cleans up as NSW cops snowy blast
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Melbourne cleans up as NSW cops snowy blast

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The vicious storms which lashed Melbourne are moving east across Victoria. Photo: Getty
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Four people have been rescued from floodwaters in and around Geelong after a powerful storm lashed Victoria and cut power to 22,000 homes and businesses.

The SES has received around 1000 calls for help since Sunday morning.

More calls are expected in the state’s east on Monday as a deep low-pressure system crosses Gippsland and heads out to the Tasman Sea, bringing damaging winds and heavy rainfall.

However, the SES says the rain isn’t expected to push rivers and creeks beyond minor flood levels in the place of most concern, East Gippsland.

SES Chief Officer Trevor White asked the community to stay away from fallen powerlines and floodwaters.

“We’ve seen many graphic images over the past three weeks from Queensland and northern NSW where people have perished by driving into floodwater,” he told reporters.

“If it’s flooded, forget it.”

At least 230 homes and business were damaged during the storm and 22,000 have lost power at some stage since Sunday morning.

About 5000 were still without electricity at 1pm on Monday.

“Our hope is to see, within the daylight hours, that the power would be restored,” Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said.

Thousands of morning train commuters in Melbourne endured delays as track faults, signal faults, a power pole fire and some flooding over tracks halted services.

Most roads remained delay-free, though a car was seen floating under a bridge in Footscray.

Durdidwarrah (100mm), near Melton, almost received a couple of months of rain in a day while Gisborne (90mm), Mount Macedon (84mm) and Lara (59mm) also received high rainfall totals in the 24 hours to 9am Monday.

A dusting of snow also fell on the alps, with Falls Creek recording 15-20cm.

“We’re fortunate that the landscape is very dry” Bureau of Meteorology Meteorologist Kevin Parkyn said.

“Where we’ve had 50 to 100mm, the ground largely has been able to absorb that rainfall and we’ve had river rises without it being excessive.”

A severe weather warning for Melbourne and the north of the state was cancelled on Monday morning.

NSW’s icy blast

The alpine region of southern New South Wales has received a big blast of snow — months ahead of the official start to the ski season.

Visitors and staff at ski resorts in the Snowy Mountains fell asleep last night in Autumn and woke up in what looked like the dead of winter.

Thredbo Resort said about 10 to 15 centimetres of snow fell on mountain tops overnight, while Perisher resort recorded about five centimetres.

“There are a few kids this morning on the toboggan sliding down the ninth hole of the golf course. There’s also a community of snowmen that’s popping up around the village.”

Ms Diver said the current conditions were ideal for snow to form.

“It’s around zero degrees at the top of the mountain and it’s still lightly snowing,” she said.

“The winds are up and it’s about 60 to 70 kilometres (an hour) at the peak. The chill factor is around minus 15 so it is set to stick around I’d say for a few days yet.”

Additional reporting by Christopher Talbot

– AAP and ABC