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By Peter Douglas

The Yarra Ranges seems to have escaped any major damage, after more than 150mm of rain fell on the region from Friday 1 December to Sunday 3 December.
As flooding from the three-day December storms subsided over the last week, extensive inspections of the damage took place, with council reporting only minimal impact.
Thankfully, no reports of damage to houses were reported to either the municipal recovery manager or Yarra Ranges Council’s building surveyor.
Yarra Ranges Council chief executive officer, Glenn Patterson, said there were no reports of damage to any council assets.
“We had prepared for the weekend by distributing messages from agencies, such as VICSES, to the community and placing 31 employees on standby for the storms,” Mr Patterson said.
“We received more than 125 road and drain-related requests and 25 tree-related requests over the weekend, with Healesville, Mount Evelyn and Upwey some of the most affected areas.
“We are still assessing the impact of the weather on reserves and community infrastructure, such as roads and footpaths, along with business and tourism, including our local farms.”
Mr Patterson praised local emergency services, council employees and community member for their efforts in preparing and responding to the storm.
Meanwhile, Liberal candidate for Evelyn, Bridget Vallence, took to the skies to inspect the damage from a different vantage-point.
“This was a great opportunity to get a better perspective on the flooding, so I can better communicate with growers and emergency services,” Ms Vallence said.
“You could see the many estuaries were overflowing and running off, and there were brown patches where the water had been.”
Ms Vallence said fruit growers in the region had experienced some impact, but much less than had been anticipated.
She said strawberry growers had ramped up their picking efforts, as they forecast for heavy rains became clearer.
There were some reports of damage to cherry production locally.

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