Thousands of Victorians could go without power for a week after flooding emergency

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The Bickley family looks over floodwater over Franklin St in Traralgon. Picture: David CairdSource:News Corp Australia

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One of the state’s largest major electricity providers has sent its “deepest apology” to its 33,000 customers who remain without power following the wild storms.

It comes as almost 40,000 households still remain without power following the wild storms and floods which lashed parts of Victoria since Wednesday.

More than 200,000 AusNet customers lost power during the peak of storms, representing a third of the company’s entire network.

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Cars partly submerged in Traralgon’s floods. Picture: David CairdSource:News Corp Australia

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Traralgon is mopping up the mess after its floods. Picture: David CairdSource:News Corp Australia

Customers in impacted areas were told they could be waiting until next Wednesday until power is restored.

AusNet said it was “doing everything it can” to restore power to the remaining households.

“Our number one focus is getting power restored, our crews are working hard under extraordinary circumstances,” an AusNet spokesperson told the Herald Sun.

“The weather is continuing to impact our ability to restore power, this is the biggest disaster our network has faced in over 40 years.”

The electricity provider said its most affected customers were in the Gippsland region and Yarra Ranges.

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Police escort residents back to their flooded homes. Picture: David CairdSource:News Corp Australia

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Debris tangled around a footbridge on a walking track beside Traralgon Creek. Picture: David CairdSource:News Corp Australia

Moderate flooding remains from Latrobe River Yallourn to Traralgon Creek, where the river level is expected to remain above 5 metres during the day.

Authorities issued a stern warning to those who had, or are thinking about, driving into dangerous flood waters to escape the storms.

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“I do not know how many times we have to tell people that it is unsafe, that is how people die,” Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner’s Andrew Crisp said.

“Whilst we had to devote resources to actually do that (rescue people who drove into floodwaters) … there needed to be a focus on the evacuation itself, so there was a gap there.”

No significant rainfall is forecast in the region for the remainder of Sunday.

A moderate flood warning has also been issued for the Yarra River from Millgrove to Coldstream.

People in the area are being advised to stay away from damaged and flooded buildings, fallen or damaged trees and powerlines, and damaged roads until authorities advise they are safe.

A massive clean up effort is underway in flood affected regions around Victoria, with over 340 SES crews now active across the state.

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Flood victim Nina Barake.Source:Supplied

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Brian Gilliland, with his dog Pee.Source:News Corp Australia

Two Victorians are believed to have died in the disaster.

On Friday, the body of a missing 20-year-old woman was discovered by search and rescue police, believed to be Nina Barake who tragically went missing from the town of Simpson on Wednesday.

Her body was found in floodwaters in Glenfyne, near Cobden, about 10.40am.

On Thursday, Brian Gilliland was found dead inside his car, which was almost submerged in floodwaters in the south Gippsland town of Woodside.

The Victorian government has reminded residents to stay out of floodwaters, with the risk of diseases including gastrointestinal infections and hepatitis A as well as the dangers of water being deeper and faster-flowing than it appears.

Originally published asThousands could be without power for a week

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