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Leaking levee leads to Vic evacuation

AAP logoAAP 6/10/2016 Melissa Meehan and Luke Costin

A leaking levee on the Ovens River has forced the evacuation of residents in a Victorian town.

Residents in Parfitt Road, Wangaratta have been told to move to higher ground and take three-days worth of clothing and medication with them.

Authorities had previously shifted their attention from Wangaratta to the confluence of the Murray and Ovens rivers near Lake Mulwala.

Further upstream, moderate flooding in West Wodonga has caused a sand quarry wall to collapse and forced three residents from homes.

The evacuation comes just hours after authorities warned wild winds would lash Victoria this weekend.

Strong winds are expected to move through the state on Sunday with gusts predicted to reach 100 kilometres per hour in parts, including Melbourne.

Extreme weather meteorologist Claire Yeo said rain would follow.

By Friday evening, SES volunteers had received more than 150 calls for assistance since midnight, including from a group of four kayakers rescued in Warrandyte.

SES state controller Trevor White said the number of rescues in recent days was frustrating for authorities as there had been continual warnings.

"It's extremely frustrating because it's a waste of resources, particularly emergency service volunteers, who are busy doing a whole range of other things," Mr White said.

"Floodwaters are dangerous - the message is, if it's flooded, forget it."

The state had been saturated by recent rainfall and the flooding was expected to continue for a number of weeks, he said.

Thanks to a brief dry spell across the state, flood warnings are starting to be downgraded for the Murray's tributaries.

Moderate flood warnings remain for a handful of rivers, including the Avoca, Loddon and Mitchell.

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