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Vic floods: 'grave' fears for farmer

AAP logoAAP 14/09/2016 Kaitlyn Offer, Helen Velissaris and Luke Costin

There are grave concerns for an elderly farmer missing in Victoria's floods, while the country town of Charlton is bracing for a river peak of 7.5 metres.

The search continues for the 84-year-old farmer, whose ute was swept into a dam by floodwaters in Wallacedale.

Police divers scoured the dam and nearby areas on Thursday after the ute was found submerged on Wednesday afternoon.

Police believe the man was not in the car at the time, but he did have three dogs tied to the back, one of which died.

"Without a doubt, we have grave concerns," Police Assistant Commissioner Deb Abbott told reporters.

Heavy rain has inundated most of the state this week, with the central and northwest region still bracing for major flooding.

The Avoca River in Charlton is expected to peak near 7.5m on Friday morning - just short of the 7.9m peak at the town during the September 2010 flood.

About 6pm on Thursday the river had reached 7.13m and was still rising.

Ten homes could be flooded by the Avoca River flood, Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said on Thursday.

About 8000 customers were without power in Charlton, Wedderburn and surrounding areas when a concrete pole came down in floodwaters on Wednesday night.

Power supply was being restored by Thursday evening with the aim being all customers back on the grid by 8pm.

Mr Lapsley told reporters the Charlton flood was the highest peak seen in this event, which has been dubbed the "Floods of September 2016" and is expected to go on for "some time".

"The state is saturated, the rivers are full," he said. "We're actually seeing roads turn into rivers."

Mr Lapsley said there would be economic impacts, especially to farmers, and the infrastructure impacts will not be known until the water recedes.

Ms Abbott pleaded with motorists to stop ignoring road blocks, telling reporters while no one had been fined yet, "it's not off the cards".

Emergency Services Minister James Merlino said emergency relief and recovery arrangements have been activated.

Ten people had accessed emergency relief payments of up to $1300 so far, he said during question time in Parliament on Thursday.

Seventeen people have been rescued from flood waters in the past week, according to the state government.

Thirteen schools were closed on Thursday and 184 roads are closed, including sections of the Great Ocean Road.

There are major flood warnings for the Avoca, Loddon and Wimmera rivers.

Moderate warnings are in place for the Barwon, Glenelg, Ovens, King and Werribee rivers.

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