Weather VIC, NSW, SA: Woman falls into stormwater drain in Daylesford amid heavy rainfall

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A Victorian woman has had a miraculous escape after she fell into a flooded stormwater drain northwest of Melbourne as a band of heavy rainfall moves across Australia’s southeastern states.

The 58-year-old woman fell down an embankment and into the Raglan Street drain in Daylesford about 8.50pm, before the fast flowing water carried her for some distance.

Victoria Police spokeswoman Leonie Johnson said the woman was able to pull herself from the drain with a metal pole.

“The water has actually reached her neck and she’s been crying out for help but the sound of the water was so loud that no one could actually hear her,” Ms Johnson told 3AW on Tuesday morning.

“Miraculously, this woman has managed to save herself, so she’s used this pole and pulled herself out of the water and escaped with only minor cuts and bruises.”

The terrifying incident comes as a band of heavy rain and thunderstorms is moving across the country’s southeastern states.

The cold front has caused a severe weather warning to be issued for Victoria’s central and eastern districts after the system soaked the regions overnight.

The Bureau of Meteorology predicts the cold front will continue to cause “heavy falls” over North East and parts of Central, East Gippsland, Northern Country, North Central and West and South Gippsland Forecast Districts on Tuesday morning.

Damaging wind gusts with peak gusts of 90km/h will continue to hit the northeastern ranges, including Wonthaggi, Bright, Morewell, Warragul, Moe and Falls Creek.

It comes as Ferny Creek, in the state’s southeast, received 75mm of rainfall since 9am Monday, while Malmsbury and Avalon Station received 68mm in less than 24 hours.

On Monday, Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Stephanie Miles said Victorian’s should prepare for flash flooding.

“Flash flooding is definitely a possibility with this heavy rainfall, particularly most places that we said before whether they’re expecting heaviest rainfall,” Ms Miles said.

“However, we’re not really expecting any riverine flooding with this one.

“It’s more so just that flash flooding with the heavy rainfall and thunderstorms that will kind of just produce any nuisance flooding over roads and the likes.”

The State Emergency Service has warned those in the region to avoid travel if possible and remain aware of dangerous hazards including flood water, mud, debris and damaged and fallen trees.

Severe weather warnings previously issued for the Mallee, South West and Wimmera have been cancelled.

The cold front will spread to Tasmania, Gippsland and eastern NSW on Tuesday, before hitting Sydney about midday.

The band is expected to move through far northern NSW and southern Queensland on Wednesday.

A trough of low pressure is also likely develop off the NSW north coast later in the week before moving down the coast and causing torrential rain and gail force winds from southern Queensland to eastern Tasmania.

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