Council working with authorities to support evacuated residents

Published on 14 October 2022

Maribyrnong River flood

A relief centre has been established to support residents evacuated after the Maribyrnong River breached its banks early this morning.

A major flood warning was issued around 2.30am as a result of significant rain in the upper ends of the catchment coinciding with high tide. Up to 224mm fell across Victoria with an average 45mm in the Maribyrnong River catchment since 9am Thursday.

Around 60 properties in Maribyrnong have been impacted along Burton Crescent, Clyde Street, Duffy Street, Ensign Street, Leopold Street, Navigation Street, Oakland Street, Raleigh Road, The Esplanade, and Van Ness Avenue.

Residents from these properties, who were advised by Police to evacuate, are being accommodated at the Maribyrnong Community Centre in Randall Street, where they are being kept warm and fed by the Salvation Army.

Council is erecting signage and closing roads as required – this includes Van Ness Avenue, Farnsworth Avenue, and Fisher Parade Bridge. VicRoads also closed Smithfield Road and the approaches to the Ballarat Road Bridge near Flemington Racecourse.

The Raleigh Road Bridge is closed and the Raleigh Road Activity Centre, which is a Council building, also has been inundated.

Mayor, Cr Anthony Tran, says Council is continuing to work with emergency services to provide support and is urging residents to keep themselves safe.

“Our community’s safety is the number one priority right now. If you must travel, ensure you are following temporary signage and find alternative routes if you find the road or an underpass is flooded,” Mayor Tran said.

“Across the State, emergency services have affected 200 rescues of people who have become trapped by floodwaters. We need to be mindful not to put additional pressure on those working to support us. Please stay off the roads where possible and do not enter floodwaters under any circumstances,” Mayor Tran continued.

The low-lying area of tidal flats adjacent to the Maribyrnong River has previously flooded. The earliest event on record was in 1906, with flooding also in 1916, 1974 and in 1993. The 1974 flood caused the most damage to homes, industries, and public utilities.

Authorities believe the Maribyrnong River, which reached 4.18 metres at Maribyrnong this morning (over a metre above the Major Flood level of 2.90) has now peaked, with floodwaters starting to recede this afternoon. But with further rain forecast and saturated catchments, there is still a potential risk of further flooding well into next week.

The State Government has announced a disaster relief payment to assist individuals and communities that are experiencing, or are likely to experience, hardship in meeting their relief needs as a result of the flood. One-off flood relief payments of $560 per adult and $280 per child are available for those who had been forced out of their homes. The payment is to help you and your household meet immediate and essential needs, like emergency shelter, food, clothing or personal items.

To complete the online assessment form, visit the State Government website.