Disease warning as Victoria cleans up

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Heavy rainfall is set to ease in the coming days as emergency services and volunteers around Victoria fight to contain flood damage and assist people in need.


There are 74 flood warnings in place across the state, revised down from more than 90 yesterday, and an evacuation remains in place at Echuca.

Despite the temporary relief in weather conditions, above average rainfall is expected to continue for the next six to eight weeks.

The Murray Darling Basin Authority increased its daily water release at Hume Dam from 50 gigalitres to 75GL per day to free-up airspace at the dam on Tuesday.

Emergency Victoria has warned residents in flood-affected areas are at risk of mosquito-borne diseases, water-borne diseases and illness relating to mould exposure.

City of Greater Bendigo Environmental Health Coordinator Jason Barnes said residents should remove stagnant water around the house, cover-up in loose-fitting clothing and use insect repellents containing DEET or picaridin.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned sheep graziers across the eastern half of Victoria that cold temperatures, rain and westerly winds could pose a threat to livestock in coming days.

In Victoria's northeast, nine people have been rescued from a riverside caravan park after it was suddenly inundated by floodwater.

A family of five, a semi-retired couple and the two owners of the Walwa Caravan park were rescued by Victorian State Emergency Service volunteers in dinghies on Tuesday night when the park flooded.

Semi-retired caretaker Gary Cooper, a former resident of the NSW Northern Rivers region, said he was no stranger to flooding, but remarked on the speed of the rising water.

"It's a totally different flooding here. It's very quick," Mr Cooper told AAP.

"We couldn't get out, so we got rescued." 

Walwa Caravan Park owner Heidi Conway said the floodwaters were unlike anything she had seen.

"This one was quite intensive and it was flowing really, really fast. So it was time to go," she said.

Ms Conway said the park's cabins avoided serious damage but she would have to wait until floodwaters receded to assess the state of her home.

The rescue follows the busiest month on record for Victoria's SES, with volunteers responding to a staggering 13,705 calls for assistance in October.

SES chief officer for operations Tim Wiebusch said it had been an incredibly busy month for the outfit.

"I'm really proud of the work our VICSES volunteers have undertaken and continue to do to assist so many community members with great support from our partner agencies," Mr Wiebusch said in a statement.

The SES responded to more than 230 requests for assistance on Tuesday, down from 564 the day before.

More than 2750 Victorian homes are without electricity.

In severely flood-affected Rochester in central-northern Victoria, SES unit controller Tim Williams was rescuing people while his own home flooded.

"We just moved forward with the work and tried not to think about what was happening at home," Mr Williams said.

"We were evacuating people, so that's where our attention needed to be. The spirit of the community has been extraordinary; volunteering their time and resources, and making things happen."

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