Ballarat region floods as record rains fall

By Erin Williams
Updated November 2 2012 - 3:29pm, first published January 14 2011 - 2:02pm
Ballarat region floods as record rains fall
Ballarat region floods as record rains fall

BALLARAT has recorded its highest January rainfall on record, with more than 203 millimetres of rain received so far this month.The city received 95 millimetres of rain in the 24 hours to 9am yesterday, causing flash flooding across the city. The downpour pushed Lake Wendouree’s water levels beyond capacity for the first time since 2002.Creswick floods: Click hereClunes floods: Click hereMiners Rest floods: Click hereSkipton floods: Click hereBeaufort floods: Click hereLake Wendouree spills over: Click hereThe State Emergency Service received 433 calls across the Ballarat region since midnight Thursday, mostly for flash flooding and fallen trees.Ballarat’s latest downpour came on top of 108.2 millimetres of rain recorded during the past four days and pushed the monthly total to 203.2 millimetres – the highest January rainfall on record.The previous record of 188 millimetres was recorded in 1963. The average January rainfall in Ballarat is 38.1 millimetres.With 259 millimetres recorded at Learmonth over the past four days, Lake Learmonth has risen 59 centimetres and the water level is now 89 centimetres below full. Lake Burrumbeet is full for the first time in seven years.Chairman of the Lake Learmonth Advisory Committee and member of the Lake Burrumbeet Advisory Committee, Fon Ryan, said Lake Burrumbeet’s water level was 29 centimetres above the spillway.“It is up 80 centimetres with a lot more yet to flow in but the rise will be balanced to some extent by the outflow over the spillway,” Mr Ryan said.“Lake Burrumbeet is now full and looking like it’s full. Lake Learmonth is very fortunate with such a big event to get that gain.”Central Highlands Water communications and marketing manager Wendy Stubbs said the White Swan Reservoir gauge recorded 78 millimetres of rain in the 24 hours to yesterday morning.She said water storage totals for the White Swan and Lal Lal reservoirs would be available on Tuesday. As of last Tuesday before the downpour, White Swan Reservoir was 94 per cent full, while Lal Lal Reservoir was 63 per cent capacity.Weatherzone meteorologist Josh Fisher said central and western Victoria experienced the highest totals with widespread falls of 50 to 100 millimetres, but there were local amounts reaching as high as 130 millimetres.“The rain has been soaking western Victoria over the past five days, bringing 150 to 250 millimetres during the week period. This is an astonishing amount of rain, especially since January totals typically range between 20 and 40 millimetres,” Mr Fisher said.“The good news is that the trough is finally progressing east and is bringing a drier change in its wake. Western Victoria has already seen the sunny skies break through this morning.”Ballarat can expect a mostly sunny day today with a top temperature of 27 degrees, while tomorrow should see a sunny 25 degrees.

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