Woolworths supermarket roof collapses as giant hail and torrential rain smashes Melbourne in horror thunderstorm
Hail the size of golf balls have battered areas of Victoria ahead as torrential rain is threatening some areas with flash flooding.
Late Sunday afternoon a severe thunderstorm warning was issued by the Bureau of Meteorology for large areas of from Melbourne to the Gippsland.
Heavy rain, damaging winds and large hail are possible in eastern parts of the state including East Gippsland where fires continue to burn.
A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for large areas of Victoria as heavy rainfall and ‘giant hailstones’ begin to batter the state
Residents from areas of Victoria have taken to social media to share images of hailstones as big as their hands (pictured)
Some areas are also at risk of flash flooding.
Warrandyte was battered by giant hailstones on Sunday afternoon while there were reports of cars being damaged on the Monash Freeway near Melbourne.
The thunderstorm is expected to create wettest two-day period in months with 40mm already recorded Mt Elizabeth in just 30 minutes.
‘We’re going to see some potentially flash flooding and severe thunderstorms over the next couple of days, including some damaged fire areas,’ Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville warned on Sunday.
The weather bureau confirmed the state was about to be hit by downpours but the rainfall would be ‘hit and miss’ and unlikely to put out blazes burning in the state.
‘Victoria is about to see its wettest two-day period in many, many months,’ Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Dean Narramore said on Sunday.
‘It will also impact fire zones as well,’ he said and a flood watch would be in place for eastern parts of the state from Sunday afternoon.
Warrandyte (pictured) was battered by giant hailstones on Sunday afternoon while there were reports of cars being damaged on the Monash Freeway near Melbourne
Heavy rain, damaging winds and large hail are possible in eastern parts of the state including East Gippsland where fires continue to burn
While rain is welcome it could be ‘hit and miss’ with totals varying between 5mm to 15mm but ‘isolated falls’ of 30mm to 50mm could hit certain areas, Mr Narramore said.
While rain was welcome in the state it did come with dangers.
‘Unfortunately coming in this massive amount in one go, quickly does cause some risk … both in how you capture most of that … and also debris run-off and the potential for fallen trees,’ the emergency services minister said.
The dangerous conditions come as firefighters work to contain a blaze at French Island at Western Port which started on Saturday.
‘Victoria is about to see its wettest two-day period in many, many months,’ Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Dean Narramore said on Sunday as hail battered areas of the state
Residents were forced to take shelter as the massive hailstones battered their properties as the rainfall began to get heavier (pictured)
More than 87 hectares was destroyed but only one outbuilding was damaged but the blaze did come very close to homes, authorities confirmed.
‘Basically the fire on French Island did move very rapidly yesterday … we basically got large air tankers in there quickly … we actually had to take fire trucks across on a barge,’ Deputy Emergency Management Commissioner Chris Stephenson said.
‘The news this morning is quite good and we hope we will contain that fire sometime later today.’
The cause of the blaze is still unknown.
Across the state 396 homes had been destroyed in bushfires across the state and more than 600 outbuildings including sheds had also been razed.
In the last week more than 223 blazes started in Victoria and of those 20 were classed as ‘significant’ and burned more than 50 hectares.
SES ADVICE FOR PEOPLE IN AFFECTED AREAS
* Check that loose items such as outdoor settings, umbrellas and trampolines are safely secured and move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
* Stay indoors and away from windows.
* If outdoors, move to a safe place indoors. Stay away from trees, drains, gutters, creeks and waterways.
* If driving conditions are dangerous, safely pull over away from trees, drains, low-lying areas and floodwater. Avoid travel if possible.
* Stay safe by avoiding dangerous hazards, such as floodwater, mud, debris, damaged roads and fallen trees.
* Stay away from fallen powerlines always assume they are live.
* Stay informed monitor weather warnings, forecasts and river levels at the Bureau of Meteorology website, and warnings through VicEmergency.