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Short respite for flooded eastern Victoria

Flooded communities in eastern Victoria will get some respite before the return of rain on Wednesday, after wild weather left many without power and caused major road closures.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Miriam Bradbury said heavy rains lashed central and eastern Gippsland over the weekend with some parts receiving up to 280mm over the two days.

“Soil throughout Gippsland was already wet because of the above average rainfall over summer which meant the rivers caused moderate flooding over the weekend,” she told AAP on Monday.

She said showers had eased during Monday and river levels were expected to fall over coming days, with moderate and minor flood warnings in place.

Another weather system is expected to reach Gippsland on Wednesday, bringing more rain to the area.

“There is a risk of renewed flooding, which is something to be aware of,” Ms Bradbury said.

The BOM has forecast a wet and grey start to the school holidays, but nothing comparable to the weekend.

But if climate modelling is right, it could also be a wet Easter – with above average rainfall forecast from April to June.

Holiday makers will be hoping for the region to dry out, as many take the currently closed Princes Highway to make their way to popular tourism hotspots in NSW, including Eden and Merimbula.

The Princes Highway, between Orbost and Genoa, and the Monaro Highway are closed due to flooding, fallen trees and landslips.

Numerous homes in the region are without power, with Mallacoota, Cann River and Marlo the worst affected.

Ausnet head of communications Karen Winsbury said a combination of heavy rain and road closures prevented teams, including helicopters, accessing the region overnight.

By 3pm Monday power was restored to 1100 customers in Mallacoota and crews were working to restore 800 more services across Gippsland.

A spokeswoman for the SES said it received fewer calls than expected.

There had been 62 calls for help in East Gippsland over the previous 24 hours, she said on Monday.

A specialist team with a boat was positioned in the area overnight, but was not needed.

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