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AU National

Dust storm blankets Melbourne in brown muck

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 23/01/2020 Chanel Zagon

Victorians have woken to bright orange dust blanketing their cars and brown muck plaguing beaches, rivers and waterways, including Melbourne's Yarra River.

A dust storm that moved across northern Victoria from South Australia and NSW covered parts of the state with tints of red and orange, reducing visibility on roads.

a boat is docked next to a body of water: Melbourne's Yarra River has turned brown. © AAP Melbourne's Yarra River has turned brown. Melbourne received 22mm of rain overnight, causing flooding on roads and Burnley train station to close earlier this morning, affecting the Alamein, Belgrave, Lilydale and Glen Waverley lines.

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The dust in the air caused the falling rain to turn a murky shade of brown and orange.

a large bridge over a body of water: Dust storm turns Yarra River brown in Melbourne. © AAP Dust storm turns Yarra River brown in Melbourne. EPA Victoria's Beach Report has declared all 36 beaches across the state to be "not suitable for swimming" due to poor water quality ratings.

Tullamarine adventure water sport facility URBNSURF was also forced to close today due to the thick dust storms, with crews working to clean the water to safe standards.

Several public and backyard swimming pools have also been infiltrated with brown muck, forcing some Melbourne aquatic centres to shut their outdoor pools.

However, the rain is forecast to ease later today.

Central and southern parts of the state are expected to receive between 25mm and 40mm of rain, while fire-ravaged areas may only receive falls of up to 10mm.

a tree with a sunset in the background: Parts of Victoria and New South Wales are being cloaked by rolling plumes of red and brown as an intense dust storm sweeps through from South Australia. © Provided by Today Parts of Victoria and New South Wales are being cloaked by rolling plumes of red and brown as an intense dust storm sweeps through from South Australia.

A cool change that swept across the state yesterday is hoped to provide relief after a week where golf ball-sized hail, flash flooding, and thunderstorms preceded a temperature rise that pushed the fire danger to severe levels.

The Bureau of Meteorology last night issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds for parts of Gippsland and Victoria's southwest, to hit overnight and into today.

Between 6.30pm yesterday and 6.30am today the SES received 233 calls for help across Victoria, 35 of which are still active. 150 calls were to attend downed trees, while 69 were for building damage.

a close up of a bowl: Bird bath in Melbourne filled with brown water. © AAP Bird bath in Melbourne filled with brown water.

The Malvern unit had the most callouts - 32 - while Mansfield had the second highest. Despite hot temperatures and strong winds on yesterday, emergency services managed to prevent a significant amount of new fires starting.

Today's rainfall will give way to clear skies tomorrow and temperatures expected to stay in the low 20s until Monday.

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