The scale of the floods in Victoria are staggering.
Reports that a “massive inland sea” threatens to flood Swan Hill:
AN ENORMOUS inland sea 90 kilometres long and 40 kilometres wide was heading for the historic north Victorian town of Swan Hill last night, where the swollen Loddon River was set to merge with the mighty Murray.
As Swan Hill’s 10,000 residents, aided by an army of holidaymakers, worked relentlessly to build levees along the riverbank and around homes, smaller towns in the flood’s path faced evacuation.
Senior weather bureau forecaster Terry Ryan said the encroaching floodwaters of the Loddon would threaten the towns of Lake Charm, Mystic Park and Lake Boga as they headed north to Swan Hill, which was expecting a peak of 4.7 metres by tonight or early tomorrow. The floodwaters are expected to rise to 4.8 metres by the end of the week.
According the State Emergency Service at least 75 towns have been impacted by the floods:
SES figures show 1770 properties, 4400 people and 75 towns have so far been affected, 6400 requests for help received, 29 relief and recovery centres opened and more than 3140 people registered at relief centres.
While the cost to the Victorian economy is expected to top $2bn:
Victoria’s Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh has confirmed to The Australian that initial estimates reveal the devastating losses to the state’s agriculture industry could be up to $2 billion.
The figure is much higher than what was expected, demonstrating the magnitude of the rains and floods across the state.
The Queensland floods are expected to top $30bn:
As estimates of the damage bill and the cost in lost production of the Queensland floods hit more than $30 billion, about one-third of Victoria was last night directly affected by the spreading floods.