Traralgon residents flee flooding as creek waters rise ‘out of nowhere’

Friday Cullen watched the water climbing up the fence of his Traralgon home on Thursday morning while sitting in a State Emergency Service truck waiting to be driven to safety.

The Traralgon Creek is normally about two blocks from Mr Cullen’s house but the floodwater was in his street and is expected to continue rising.

Emergency services have urged residents who live and work near Traralgon Creek in Gippsland to leave and travel to a safe location.Credit:Nine News

“It came straight up out of nowhere,” he said.

Mr Cullen does not know what happened to his car but when he fled with his wife this morning the water had already reached the top of the tyres.

VicEmergency issued an evacuation order for parts of Traralgon near the Traralgon Creek at 10.30am on Wednesday but by that time Mr Cullen said many people in his street had already been whisked away.

Some drivers were rescued from their cars by the SES after attempting to drive in the flood water, Mr Cullen said.

Flooded streets in Traralgon.Credit:Nine News

“They had to be pulled out through the windows.”

Mr Cullen, who is now at his mother-in-law’s house, estimates he saw about 30 people being evacuated in his neighbourhood. But he believes many more will have had to leave since.

Major flood warnings are in place for the Traralgon Creek and Latrobe River.

A relief centre has been established in Traralgon, which will triage the needs of evacuees and find out whether they need accommodation.

Numerous roads have been closed across the large Gippsland region. Many towns in the Latrobe Valley and beyond have been hit with power outages and electricity is not expected to be restored in some locations for days.

Latrobe City Council mayor Sharon Gibson described traffic chaos in the town on Thursday morning.

She urged anyone to stay at home if they could rather than adding to the congestion on local roads, some of which are submerged.

Cr Gibson said the Traralgon Creek had risen above 5.3 metres in the morning.

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