Burrumbeet unofficially records more than 200mm of rain in a few hours

Sheila Bower looks over the remains of what was her car port, including a speaker which flew more than 30 feet. Picture: Kate Healy
Sheila Bower looks over the remains of what was her car port, including a speaker which flew more than 30 feet. Picture: Kate Healy

BURRUMBEET residents say they have never seen anything like the storm which dumped more than 200mm of rain in just over two hours on Sunday.

An unprecedented dump saw many rain gauges collect between 140mm and 240mm between 8pm and 10.30pm as winds from the east merged with a change from the south-west to cause a swirling air mass of lightning, thunder, hail and inches of rain.

Part of a roof connecting Sheila Bower's home to her barn was blown off, landing on and damaging metal fencing in her yard.

Lightning strikes during the storm in Burrumbeet. Photo: Robert Sawyer.

Lightning strikes during the storm in Burrumbeet. Photo: Robert Sawyer.

"We didn't hear it come off, you couldn't hear anything," Ms Bower said. "My husband came out with a torch to check the horses and found the roof over there.

"We've been out here 10 years, we've had a few older trees come down, but we've never had anything like this. The roof has flown about 30 feet."

Rob Sawyer was at his parents property near Luke Burrumbeet when the storm lashed the region

"You know that feeling when a thunder clap comes and it shakes the ground, that's what it was like for more than two hours," he said.

Areas burned last week have turned into pungent slush. Picture: Kate Healy

Areas burned last week have turned into pungent slush. Picture: Kate Healy

The digital rain gauge at his parents property read an astonishing 204.7mm of rain which fell in just over two hours while a manual rain gauge recorded 187mm.

Mr Sawyer said he had never seen anything like it.

"I was out at the farm last night because we'd had a couple of lightning strikes start some fires last week," he said.

"It started at 8.10pm and didn't let up until 10.30pm. Amazingly we didn't end up with much damage, just a couple of limbs here and there and it's pretty much soaked straight into the ground."

Watch footage of the storm here (video: Robert Sawyer)

Mr Sawyer's astonishing report is just one of many that have been flooding in areas around Burrumbeet. It is believed to have recorded more than 200 millimetres of rain in just a few hours on Sunday night.

Despite most of Ballarat not receiving a drop of rain, a number of people living near Lake Burrumbeet said they recorded an unprecedented downpour.

Shelia Bower had a barn wall ripped off her shed in Burrumbeet.

Shelia Bower had a barn wall ripped off her shed in Burrumbeet.

Some have described a localised storm as a "mini-tornado", while vision shows just how isolated the rainfall was.

Officially, Ballarat recorded 20.6mm of rain, with the weather station located at the airport on the western outskirts of the city.

However, little more than 10km away at Burrumbeet, there are multiple reports of more than 200mm falling.

There is no official weather station at Burrumbeet.

Watch more footage of the storm here.

On Twitter, Mick Smith posted he received 235mm in just a few hours.

"We're on the west side of Lake Burrumbeet, once it started, it just circled us for three hours," Mr Smith said.

"Some of the lightning was just on top of the house, we had hail at other time. There was plenty of sideways rain, no doubt there's plenty that didn't even get in the gauge.

New lakes have appeared near Lake Burrumbeet. Picture: Kate Healy

New lakes have appeared near Lake Burrumbeet. Picture: Kate Healy

"I could not believe the level of gauge when I saw it."

Mr Smith said his property had lost most of it driveway which had been washed away, but otherwise it remained generally unscathed.

"We've been in the area our whole life, I've never seen anything like it.

"The windows were like the Art Gallery in Melbourne, just water running down constantly

Video: The weather radar from 7pm until 11pm last night.

"It was quite scary, we had no power as well the whole time, we were trying to cook dinner on the barbecue, there combination of challenges, til it went away."

Sheila Bower said she had her barn wall ripped clean off and described the winds as a "mini-tornado".

Another photo shows evidence of more than 200mm.

Despite the extreme rain, there weren't many reports of severe damage from localised flooding.

Aerial footage of water lying around in Burrumbeet. Photo: Robert Sawyer.

Aerial footage of water lying around in Burrumbeet. Photo: Robert Sawyer.

The area to the western side of Lake Burrumbeet is the area that appears to have copped the worst of the weather.

It is almost the same area where two fires erupted last week.

The rainfall at a property in Burrumbeet. Photo: Robert Sawyer.

The rainfall at a property in Burrumbeet. Photo: Robert Sawyer.

One resident told The Courier that farms were initially under water, but the water quickly drained away.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the highest recorded daily rainfall in Victoria has been 375mm at Tanybryn in the Otway Ranges. This was measured in the 24 hour period to 9am 22 March 1983.

This recording was considerably higher than the next highest, 275.1mm at Nowa Nowa (Wairawa) on 11 March 1906 and 274.6mm at Balook on 18 February 1951, located respectively in East and South Gippsland.

This story Burrumbeet unofficially records more than 200mm of rain in a few hours first appeared on The Courier.