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Melbourne’s Maribyrnong flood to reshape warning system

Melbourne residents at risk of flooding will now receive warnings from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Melbourne residents at risk of flooding will now receive warnings from the Bureau of Meteorology. Photo: AAP

Melbourne’s flood alert system is set to be overhauled after more than 500 homes and businesses were inundated without warning.

Melbourne Water, the Bureau of Meteorology and the Victoria State Emergency Service will work together to improve flood forecasts and warning systems following consultation in the aftermath of the Maribyrnong disaster in October.

Responsibility for flood warnings and forecasts will be transferred to the BOM, bringing Melbourne into line with the rest of Australia.

After the October 2022 flood, Melbourne Water was criticised by northwest Melbourne residents who said warnings came too late.

At Chifley Drive in Maribyrnong, the river rose from a minor flood level of 1.7m at 4.25am on October 14 to a major flood level of 2.9m two hours later.

Melbourne Water, in a 36-page submission to its Maribyrnong Flood inquiry, admitted the river rose faster than its modelling predicted.

“We know that every minute counts in a flood emergency,” Melbourne Water managing director Nerina Di Lorenzo said

“Simplifying the process of generating flood warnings between our agencies will further improve timeframes and better support our community when extreme weather events occur.”

– AAP

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