Melbourne residents may be free to roam but have been told to steer clear of storm-ravaged regions as clean-up efforts continue.

With the 25km radius rule and ban on regional travel lifting on Friday, many Melburnians are itching to hit the road this weekend.

But Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp has cautioned them against a trip to the Dandenong Ranges and parts of Gippsland, which were hit by devastating floods and storms last week.

“My strong message to anyone that is not a local, that does not live up here, stay away,” he said on Thursday.

“You’ll be getting in the way of all the great work trying to clear the roads.”

As well as road closures, many national parks have been shut after being deemed inaccessible or dangerous.

The Dandenong and Yarra ranges national parks and 11 others to Victoria’s east are among the long list off-limits to visitors.


Deputy state response controller Chris Hardman said Victorians must carefully plan their travel to ensure they didn’t run into problems over the weekend and upcoming school holidays.

“If you’re planning on camping these school holidays, ensure to never camp under trees as after heavy rainfall, they can become unstable,” he said.

Bushfire Recovery Victoria will take the lead in coordinating the clean-up and recovery, while a small group of Australian Defence Force members was due to arrive in the Dandenong Ranges and Traralgon, in the Gippsland region, on Thursday to assess the damage.

A further request for ADF support is then expected to be made.

A state energy emergency has also been declared due to fears the Yallourn mine could flood as cracks form and place additional pressure on its walls.

Meanwhile, residents of Kallista, Sherbrooke and The Patch in the Yarra Ranges are still being told not to drink tap water, even if it is boiled, due to contamination.



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