Australia Hit By Flooding, Hundreds Evacuated

Victoria is experiencing some of its worst flooding in more than a decade and emergency services say the threat is far from over. Hundreds of homes have been inundated as strong winds and rain batter the state. Wind gusts of up to 110 kilometres per hour are being recorded, damaging trees, powerlines and buildings in the state's south-east and in Melbourne's east. Rivers are expected to rise over the next few days and the weather bureau has issued major flood warnings to parts of the north-east, north-west and mid-west regions. The SES has had 1,600 calls for help since the heavy rain began yesterday and it has received about 500 calls for help since midnight. Residents in Victoria's north-east are assessing the damage after floods inundated towns overnight. Euroa, Benalla and Myrtleford residents have been evacuated and say it is the worst flooding they have seen in 17 years. Water overflowing from Seven Creek in Euroa peaked about 7:30pm yesterday at just over five metres. Authorities warned about 100 households to evacuate. By 10pm most people at the relief centre set up at a school had returned home. In nearby Benalla, water from the swollen Broken River was still rising at midnight. Two relief centres have been set up in the town. The SES says it is not yet clear how many homes were flooded. More than a dozen homes in Carisbrook in the state's south-west are under threat from floods. Residents in Gippsland are also being urged to prepare for possible flooding. Wangaratta is not under threat, but authorities expect water levels there could peak by tomorrow. Many calls also came from Melbourne overnight after strong winds lashed the city, bringing down powerlines, trees and a shed roof. In the eastern suburb of Glen Waverley, one primary school had its roof blown off. The Bureau of Meterology's Stephen King says the rain will ease today.