Thousands of Australians have been forced to flee their homes in the middle of the night as a colossal rain bomb unleashes on three states triggering widespread flooding.
Large parts of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania have been hit with wet and wild weather on Thursday as a large rain band smashes the east coast.
Satellite images captured a massive cloud band extending 5,000 kilometres from the Tropical Indian Ocean to Australia east coast.
Thousands have been forced to move to higher ground as swollen rivers burst their banks and threaten to engulf hundreds of homes and businesses.
As forecasters warn the worst of the miserable weather is yet to come, here is a wrap-up of what is happening with the weather in your state.
Thousands of Australians have been forced to flee their homes as a colossal rain bomb hammers three states and triggers widespread flooding (pictured, rain in Melbourne)
Residents in 42 Melbourne suburbs, including Footscray, Sunshine and Yarraville, have been put on alert as the Maribyrnong River continues to rise (pictured, areas in red told to evacuate)
EVACUATION ORDERS ACROSS THREE STATES:
Parts of Melbourne
NEW SOUTH WALES
Parts of Newstead
Meander to Carrick and surrounds
Residents in the heart of Melbourne were ordered to evacuate early Friday morning.
They included areas near Melbourne Showgrounds, Maribyrnong, Footscray park, Flemington Racecourse.
It comes after 42 Melbourne suburbs, including Footscray, Sunshine and Yarraville were put on alert as the Maribyrnong River continues to rise.
Thousands of Victorians have been impacted by heavy flooding on Thursday, with residents in central and northeastern parts of the state most affected.
Residents in Rochester, Seymour and Carisbrook were ordered to leave their homes immediately amid rising floodwaters by 10pm on Thursday night.
A warning of an imminent dam failure at the Skinners Flat Reservoir prompted order to evacuate Wedderburn immediately.
Residents in low-lying areas of Lake Eildon have been told to relocate as floodwaters encroach on bridges, homes and parks in the embattled town of Bendigo.
More than 450 properties in Rochester are expected to be impacted when the swollen Campaspe River peaks early on Friday morning.
As of Thursday night, major flood warnings remain current for nine waterways, including the Maribyrnong, Werribee, Campaspe and Avoca rivers.
At least 9,000 homes across the state have been left without electricity after a power station became flooded in Castlemaine, 100km northwest of Melbourne.
Regional train and coach services have been cancelled due to the heavy rain and flooding in addition to the Sydney to Melbourne line.
Large parts of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania have been hit with wet and wild weather as a large rain band smashes the east coast (pictured, flooding in Bendigo)
This satellite image shows the cloud band stretching 5,000 kilometres from the Tropical Indian Ocean to continental Australia
At least 40 schools and early childhood centres were closed with office workers in Melbourne asked to stay home amid fears the Yarra River would flood.
Attention remains on Rochester, a town about 180km north of Melbourne that sits on the swollen Campaspe River – which is expected to peak early on Friday morning.
More than 300 homes are expected to be inundated by floodwaters with residents in Rochester urged to evacuate by 10pm on Thursday night.
The Victorian SES warned the floods could be reminiscent of those in 2011 when 80 per cent of the township and surrounded rural areas were flooded.
In the town of Echuca, residents have been told to boil their water before they drink it after stormwater contaminated the town’s water storage tanks.
Satellite images have captured a massive cloud band extending 5,000 kilometres from the Tropical Indian Ocean all the way to southeastern Australia
More than 300 homes are expected to be inundated by floods on Thursday evening as residents in Rochester are urged to leave by 10pm (pictured, flooding in regional Victoria)
The local stadium has been converted into an evacuation shelter for residents in nearby communities, such as Rochester, who need to leave their homes.
Earlier on Thursday, reports emerged that The Alfred Hospital has been hit by flood waters, which have gushed into the hospital’s basement.
Victoria’s emergency management commissioner Andrew Crisp has warned the state’s flood risk won’t end after today, or even after this weekend.
Emergency management commissioner Andrew Crisp told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell ‘we’re in this for a while’, with the state experiencing a ‘campaign flood event’.
‘There is another low developing, so we’ll see, probably, that weather next Wednesday/Thursday,’ he told Mitchell.
More than 200 properties in Rochester in central Victoria are expected to be flooded when the swollen Campaspe River peaks early on Friday morning (pictured, a car in Bendigo)
Victoria’s emergency management commissioner Andrew Crisp has warned the state’s flood risk won’t end after today, or even after this weekend (pictured, red areas told to evacuate)
Cars are pictured crossing floodwaters in Heathcote in central Victoria as rain batters the state
New South Wales
In New South Wales, hundreds of people have been told to evacuate Forbes in the state’s central west before major flooding hits the area – with the SES urging people to leave before 8pm on Thursday.
The orders affect about 250 homes as rain batters the region and moderate flooding affects Wagga Wagga after the Murrumbidgee River peaked on Thursday morning.
The Lachlan River is expected to reach a major flood peak of 10.6 metres later on Thursday or early on Friday morning.
Senior forecaster Jonathan How said on Thursday that Broken Hill in the far west of NSW had copped an overnight deluge.
‘They’ve now set a new record for the highest October daily rainfall record – more than 50mm overnight,’ he told the ABC.
In Echuca, residents have been told to boil their water before they drink it after stormwater contaminated the town’s water storage tanks (pictured, a flood level in Bendigo, Victoria)
In New South Wales, hundreds of people have been told to evacuate Forbes in the state’s central west before major flooding hits the area (pictured, children play in floodwaters)
Fears remain for Rochester, a town about 180km north of Melbourne, as the swollen Campaspe River is expected to peak early on Friday morning (pictured, flooded scenes in Bendigo)
Meanwhile, a search is under way for a 63-year-old man believed missing in western NSW floodwaters who was last seen on a rural property on Lachlan Valley Way.
He vanished from Hillston around midday on Tuesday, when he told a friend he would return shortly and failed to return.
Local police, PolAir, Police Rescue, the SES and paramedics failed to find any trace of the man on Wednesday and the search is now focused on the Riverina farm and along the swollen Lachlan River.
Heavy rain with six-hourly totals of 30 to 50mm will extend across southern NSW, with damaging winds in alpine areas.
However, rain will ease on Thursday night, with showers moving across the coast on Friday morning before finally moving offshore in the afternoon and evening.
Residents have been tirelessly loading sandbags to prepare for more rain in Latrobe, Tasmania
In Tasmania, fears animals may have been swept away by floodwaters at the Wings Wildlife Park come as devastating floods hit the northwest coast.
The Walloa Creek, which runs through the park, is said to have overflowed and caused damage to the cafe and animal enclosures.
Staff took to social media to admit the last 12 hours at the park in Gunns Plain had been a ‘nightmare’ with it ‘likely’ some animals had been lost in the floods.
‘The members of the Wing Family and all the park staff are well and accounted for but are all devastated by the impacts of this flood and will now need time to assess the future of this amazing family experience and how they can move forward from yet another devastating event,’ owner Ian Waller wrote on Facebook.
Earlier on Thursday, a major flood warning was issued for the Meander, Macquarie and Mersey Rivers impacting locations like Kimberly, Elizabeth Town, Merseylea, Sunnyside, Railton, Sassafras, Latrobe, Tarleton, and surrounds.
Residents from Liena to Latrobe have been urged to leave their homes as at least 25 people are evacuated from a local caravan park.
Flooding is also occurring in Sheffield, on Tasmania’s northwest coast, after the area received a downpour of over 100mm of rain in just eight hours.
Residents from Liena to Latrobe have been urged to leave their homes as at least 25 people are evacuated from a local caravan park (pictured, the Mersey Bridge in Latrobe, Tasmania)
In Tasmania, fears animals may have been swept away by floodwaters at the Wings Wildlife Park come as devastating floods hit the northwest coast (pictured)