As you are all aware, Victoria is experiencing one of its most intensive storm events in many years.
The major east coast low weather system is delivering winds above 100kmh and heavy rainfall and, as our Chief Officer has outlined this morning, CFA crews are providing significant support to our emergency sector partners, particularly the SES.
The impacts of this system are being felt right across the state and in Gippsland numerous rivers are starting to rise. Towns throughout the region are likely to be impacted by flooding today and in coming days.
Across the state, CFA people (staff and volunteers) have been activated into Regional Control Centres, Incident Control Centres and District Command Centres, coordinating operations and responding to thousands of calls for assistance alongside other sector agencies.
Some of the activities we have been involved in since yesterday including performing rescues in floodwaters, removing fallen trees and the evacuation of residents in low-lying areas.
This is likely to be the largest storm and flooding event we have experienced in Gippsland since 2012 and the coming days will prove challenging as we move from response into recovery.
Many areas of our region were impacted by bushfires last year and the compounding effects of the storm surge are creating hazardous conditions, including landslips and tree falls in these fire-affected areas.
Our priority, as it always has been, is to ensure that our members are safe at all times, which means being aware of hazardous trees and the danger of driving through floodwaters.
There has already been a number of incidents where emergency services personnel have been impacted by falling trees and tree limbs which highlights the importance of being aware of your surroundings and potential hazards.
Most regions of Victoria have been affected in some way over the past 24 hours and you should continue to monitor emergency warnings in your area via the VicEmergency app.
Please stay safe and look out for one another.