Power and communications cut for days, damaged property, fallen trees blocking roads, entire towns isolated and undrinkable mains water.
This is the destruction from one of the worst storms to lash the Macedon Ranges region in years.
Wind gusts in excess of 100km/h wreaked havoc across central Victoria last Wednesday and Thursday.
Powercor crews worked to restore power to more than 100,000 homes and businesses across northern and western Victoria. Woodend, Gisborne, Kyneton and Trentham were among the hardest hit.
TRENTHAM CUT OFF
Fallen trees cut access to Trentham where trapped residents faced days without power, telecommunications and drinkable tap water.
Coliban Water and the Health Department issued an urgent “do not drink tap water” to Trentham residents on Thursday evening.
On Friday morning the water authority advised there was potentially only two to three hours of water supply remaining for the town as the Water Treatment Plant had lost power.
Hepburn Shire Council opened a relief centre at Trentham’s Mechanics Institute where people could access information, food, power and bottled water.
Coliban Water’s tap water advisory notice lifted on Saturday at 6pm.
FIRST RESPONDERS AT WORK
Local SES units responded to hundreds of requests for help with flooding, trees down, building damage and rescues.
A Storm Task Force was activated made up of vehicles and crews from fire brigades within the Macedon Ranges to assist with their operations.
Gisborne firefighter Bevan Moody said crews from Gisborne, Bullengarook, Macedon, Mount Macedon, Hesket, Riddells Creek and Woodend were tasked to storm damage calls on the south side of Mount Macedon over the past two days.
“Priority was to gain access to stranded residents who had been without power for 48 hours and no vehicular access,” Mr Moody said.
“We also assisted power utility crews gain access to certain areas for power restoration works.
“A tremendous amount of work was done throughout Mount Macedon over the last couple of days. Well done to all crews who worked tirelessly for lengthy periods of time.”
LUCKY ESCAPE FOR FIRIE
Kyneton firefighter Simon Hinneberg made a narrow escape from a huge fallen tree.
He was responding to a storm damage callout at 2am on Thursday morning when his own property came under threat.
“We got a callout for a gas leak where a tree had broken a main but I didn’t make the truck,” he said.
“I’d just parked the ute in our driveway and was walking to the front door and as I got to the alcove I heard the crack and I just got to the front door and then the tiles were falling down on me.
“The scarier thing was sitting inside the house waiting for another tree to come down on our house. It was that bad – I really thought another tree would come down.”
Mr Hinneberg’s work ute was completely crushed by the tree, leaving him without a work vehicle, but 3AW Breakfast Show presenters came to his aid and found him a loan vehicle from Mercedes Benz Berwick.
Vic Emergency has advised that support services and payments are available to people impacted by floods and storms to help meet immediate and essential needs.
The Personal Hardship Assistance Program assists people experiencing financial hardship due to a natural disaster related emergency.
For details, visit: https://bit.ly/3cAP1Jl