Flood warning for East Gippsland
Let’s look further south now, to East Gippsland, where bushfire-affected communities are now facing the risk of flooding.
The Bureau of Meteorology issued a warning this morning for the eastern corner of the state around Mallacoota, Cann River, Chandlers Creek and Combienbar – all areas directly impacted by bushfire in the past month.
The low-pressure system that caused flooding from Queensland down to Sydney is heading south, and is expected to dump between 25mm and 60mm of rain, with localised falls of up to 100mm of rain, today.
Because these areas have been stripped of their ground cover, there is also a risk of landslides.
The State Emergency Service has warned that waterways could be filled with ash, soil, rocks and trees, and that “in areas recently affected by fires, heavy rainfall increases the potential for landslides and debris across roads”.
Parts of East Gippsland around Bairnsdale and Buchan have already received a significant amount of rain following the fires, with more than 100mm falling over the past month in some areas. Mallacoota and surrounds missed most of that rain.
On a positive note, it could help put out or significantly quell bushfires that, because of the topography of Gippsland, can’t be reached by firefighters.
As of Monday morning, the main fire in the area, the 650,000ha Snowy River Complex, still had a number of hot spots that were creating smoke in the area but was not creating an immediate threat to the community. The Mallacoota fire complex, also known as the border fire, is still burning and is not yet under control, but it’s also not posing a threat to communities at this stage.