Storm causes flash flooding in and around Ballarat

A spate of businesses throughout the Ballarat CBD were forced to pick up the pieces on Sunday morning after a huge downpour of localised rain struck the city on Saturday evening. 

Shut: Randi Canik was due to open Left Hand Lucky Tattoo for a charity event. Picture: Kate Healy

Shut: Randi Canik was due to open Left Hand Lucky Tattoo for a charity event. Picture: Kate Healy

Emergency services crews were called out to 15 requests for assistance across Ballarat on Saturday evening following a huge deluge of rain which hit parts of the city. 

But the thunderstorms were so localised, despite flooding in CBD streets no rain was recorded at the Bureau of Meteorology’s official rain gauge at the Ballarat airport.

Among the businesses forced to close up shop for the day was Little Bridge Street’s Left Hand Lucky Tattoo.  The business was due to open to raise money for the ‘Caps for Bax’ charity, which supports sick kids from the region.

Damaged: Sarah Campbell and Ruby Le Vaillant-Moffitt clean up at Heroes HQ after Saturday's flash flooding.

Damaged: Sarah Campbell and Ruby Le Vaillant-Moffitt clean up at Heroes HQ after Saturday's flash flooding.

The floor, roof and electrical wiring were all extensively damaged from the downpour, forcing the tattoo parlour to close for at least two days. 

Business owner Randi Canik said while insurance assessors would provide a full account of the damage on Monday, they had already been forced to postpone dozens of bookings.  “I came in at 8am for a big day and the shop was flooded.” 

The course of the Yarrowee River became obvious as water inundated the Eastwood Street carpark. Picture: Contributed

The course of the Yarrowee River became obvious as water inundated the Eastwood Street carpark. Picture: Contributed

Cars parked in Albert Street Ballarat, between Dana and Grant streets, had water lapping half way up their doors and shops around Curtis and Eastwood Streets reported flooding.  Ballarat SES were also contacted about flooded garages and fallen tree branches when winds hit with the storm.

Lal Lal recorded one of the heaviest rainfalls in the state with 37mm falling in the downpour.

Shepperd Street comic book store Heros HQ was also among the businesses hit hard by the flash flooding which submerged much of Mair and Davies streets.  

Owner Jeannine le Valliant lost thousands of dollars in stock when water began gushing down store wall.  While a portion of the store was cordoned off on Sunday the business remained open for trading. 

She said the damage could have been far worse were it not for the speedy response from passersby who notified her of the imminent flood.  She also praised the response of the SES crew who worked to stop the flooding. 

“I’ve lost most of my rare comics and there’s quite a lot of building damage,”  Ms le Valliant said of the damage.  “We’re open seven days a week and we can’t afford not to trade.”