Some Victorians face days without power after strong winds brought down trees and power lines on Friday, and severe weather warnings remained in place for southeast Victoria.

More than 240,000 homes, mostly in east Victoria, remained on Friday night with no electricity, up from around 520,000 the morning after noxious winds whipped the state, ripped roofs off houses and smashed hundreds of trees over power lines and onto cars.

The damage was great. In Emerald, a fallen tree damaged the home of an SES unit controller and locked his daughters in it. In Mordialloc, the roof of a residential unit landed with an “almighty bang” in the neighbor’s yard.

Sixty schools had VCE biology and other math exams interrupted by the wild weather, with two schools being forced to take the biology exam due to Cancel the exam due to lack of electricity or building damage.

Seventeen students from Beaconhills College in Pakenham and nine from Chisholm Institute in Frankson missed the exam.

Several schools held exams in unpowered rooms and others were forced to block exams postpone.

“All students who missed their exam due to the storms can apply for an inferred exam grade,” said a spokesman for the Education Department.

The Australian energy operator said while powering more than 250,000 homes and Business recovered, some properties could potentially be without power by early next week.

Victorians have also been advised to reconsider their plans to visit areas with significant storm damage, flooding and power outages during the first weekend in months when travel between regional Victoria and Melbourne is allowed.

The Victorian Energy Secretary Lily D’Ambrosio said she hoped the storm on Friday would not be a repeat of the outages that cut power to hundreds of homes in the Dandenongs for weeks in June.

“Of course we hope the longer outages this time will not be with us like in June. But we can’t make that call now, “she said.

She said the state government was ready to deploy generators should residents or emergency services indicate they were needed, but due to the structure of Victoria’s network, outages are likely wild weather is inevitable.

“We also need to understand that you will never have a situation where you avoid these types of natural events that affect communities,” she said.

“The electricity companies have got the crews going … they reconnect people asap. They are examining the areas of greatest need. ”

The Bureau of Meteorology maintained a warning that the storm would last all day, particularly in the coastal areas of southwest Melbourne, but said the harmful wind was on Friday night would wear off.

The state emergency service received 4088 calls for help within 24 hours by 4:30 p.m. Friday, with the busiest units operating in Frankston, Ballarat, Whitehorse and Northcote.

The emerald green SES unit controller Ben Owen said a fallen tree badly damaged his house and trapped his two daughters in it, “traumatizing” them.

“The whole house has been destroyed. I mean, you open the front door and then there’s a tree in the living room. You can’t see the kitchen which is on the other end of the same room, ”he told 3AW Mornings.

“I photographed the hallway between my bedroom and where the girls sleep, and you can no longer even tell that this is the hallway, there is only furniture and glass and wooden beams and everything on the floor.” / p> “We don’t have a clear picture of the extent of the damage. It is realistic to believe that this could go on until the weekend, ”she said.

” [Once our staff] understand the extent of the damage, they will get a better idea of ​​how long the recovery will take but it will take time. “

She said Eltham, Officer, Warragul, Watsonia, Cranbourne, Ringwood North, Lysterfield, Benalla, Belgrave and Chirnside Park were the hardest hit areas.

Citipower reported online, there had been “considerable damage to the network”, more than 23,000 were still without electricity.

Units were damaged in Mordialloc after a roof on a neighboring property blew away in the strong gusts on Friday.

Pauline Jennings, who lives in one of the apartments, said she was woken up by the wind around 7 a.m.

When she ventured outside, she heard that “almighty bang” as the roof of the neighbor in the courtyard opened landed on the ground after she approached had hit convenient plots. Ms. Jennings panicked when craftsmen had been in the area where the roof landed just minutes earlier.

“The roof of the neighboring house went up over our house and landed in our back yard,” she said.

One roof blew up on one residential building and fell into the next one on Beach Road, Mordialloc. Credit: Paul Jeffers

“I’ve never seen anything like it. The wind is so strong and the water on the beach was just angry. ”

Night winds had swept his neighborhood in east Melbourne, and he was preparing for the worst when he carefully stepped out the front door.

“I heard that bang … and was worried,” he pointed to a tree on his property, “it had fallen.”

His home was fine. But about 50 yards down the hill, near the corner of Macaulay Court and York Streets, the wind had torn off its neighbor’s roof cleanly.

The wind had raised the roof and it had crashed into a nearby utility pole, taking Live lines had fallen. Sparks hissed at him from across the street.

“I saw the power lines downstairs. There were a lot of sparks and lightning, ”he said.

Residents of the eastern suburbs of Melbourne came out on Friday to see the damage and the havoc that was wreaked in the hills of Dandenong a few months ago is still fresh in their minds.

On Friday, authorities continued to comb the side of the Eastern Freeway. Many traffic lights were off and trees were strewn across main streets.

An SES spokeswoman said she expected calls to continue throughout Friday and warned that there would be delays on her phone line due to high demand could.

“Our number 132 500 that people call on is late this morning so we as people have to be patient and keep trying,” she said.

Citipower reported online that it was ” Significant damage to the network ”, with more than 23,000 still without power.Credit: Paul Jeffers

“ Victorians need to be careful on the streets as there can be danger. Please go to terms and conditions. ”

All Melbourne rail lines have experienced delays or standstills due to high winds and travelers are encouraged to postpone their travel whenever possible.

Assistant Treasurer Danny Pearson said, 30 COVID-19 test sites, including one in Frankston, and six vaccination sites had to close due to the wild weather.

“We will be contacting people who have a vaccination schedule that needs to be postponed,” he said / p> “We are of course working very hard to get these sites back online as soon as possible, but we appreciate your patience in doing so.”

Mark Anolak, a senior forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology , said wind gusts between 90 km / h and 100 km / h were measured in Melbourne from 6 a.m. on Friday.

Windy conditions will haunt the west of the city and the Mornington Peninsula until at least 10 a.m.

“The reason for all of these winds is that we’ve seen a very intense low pressure system that comes very close to Melbourne, “said Anolak.

” When you think of a cyclone, the closer you get to the eye of the cyclone, the stronger it gets Wind. The low pressure system has come very close to Melbourne, so we’re pulling the strongest winds over the metropolitan area. ”

He said the winds hitting Melbourne would gradually ease, with moderate gusts later that evening and an occasional light one A shiver that was scattered all over the city. There is a trend towards better weather over the weekend.

NBN Co said about 300,000 users experienced disruptions to their Internet service due to the storms and about 125,000 remained offline. The ISP is using 18 generators to restore the lost energy.

Chris Miller of the Department of Transportation said Victoria’s streets were “treacherous” on Friday as trees fell over major thoroughfares such as Church Street in Richmond and Monash Freeway impacted.

“As the wild weather continues to sweep the state, motorists are encouraged to avoid travel whenever possible. If you need to travel, please slow down and be extremely careful, “said the Department of Transportation.

” Due to the strong winds, the speed over the West Gate Bridge has been reduced to 60 km / h. The speed limit can be further reduced in stronger winds. Please follow all signs posted above. ”

Enthusiastic surfers set off from Oliver’s Hill boat ramp in Frankston during Friday’s wild storm.

Photo by Paul Jeffers
The age of NEWS
October 29, 2021 Credit: Paul Jeffers

Receive a daily update on the climate summit that will shape our future. Sign up for our Clear Air newsletter here.