Date: 2021-10-29 05:28:43
The clean up is still underway after wind gusts up to 100km/h have devastated parts of the Geelong region, with residents still without power.
Power outages, downed trees and gusting winds up to 100km/h continue to plague the Geelong region on Friday following a horror night of wild weather.
The howling conditions come in the wake of a low pressure system moving through Bass Strait.
The Surf Coast has felt the brunt of the roaring winds, with the weather station at Aireys Inlet recording peak gusts of 109km/h at 6.30am.
South Channel Island in southern Port Phillip Bay hit 132km/h around 7pm, while the strongest gust at the Geelong racecourse weather station was 80km/h at 7am.
The wild weather has brought on numerous calls for assistance from the SES for downed trees and building damage.
SES crews responded to 177 calls for assistance in the south west region, with the Bellarine area the hardest hit.
In some instances, trees were snapped in half by the force of the wind while others had fallen on power lines.
According to Powercor, more than 1300 homes in Queenscliff are without power. It is not expected to be restored until 3.30pm.
More than 7000 properties in Ocean Grove have also suffered power outages.
Much of the Borough of Queenscliffe is understood to have suffered severe damage, with major roads blocked by trees.
A Parks Victoria office, at Queenscliff Harbour, suffered damage with images showing debris across the boardwalk.
Queenscliff Mayor Ross Ebbels said he hasn’t seen wild weather like this in a very long time.
“Between Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale there are a substantial number of large trees down,” he said.
“A lot of our area has experienced power outages but emergency crews have been working to get it restored.”
Cr Ebbels said the local council was currently helping with traffic management on the Bellarine Highway, as many major roads remained blocked on Friday morning.
“It’s almost like we’re in a bit of a lockdown,” he said.
“Luckily, we’ve recorded no injuries at this stage.”
Barwon Heads Rd remained blocked both ways, near Golf Links Rd, at 9am due to a number of trees down.
Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary director Tehree Gordon, said the damaging winds had “absolutely devastated” the Barwon Heads park.
“The most important thing is that all of our animals are safe,” she said.
“But, I’m just so devastated for all of the staff – they have worked so hard to get the place looking beautiful, expecting to open the gates to visitors this long weekend.
“After Covid we were looking forward to the state opening up.
“We will have to remain closed now for at least a week.”
Ms Gordon said there were massive trees down everywhere, with various items uprooted and flown across the property from the wild weather.
“We can’t afford to risk anyone coming into an unsafe space,” she said.
“We will definitely need the SES to help assess the damage.
“Our excellent and dedicated staff members will continue to work very hard and hopefully we can open up as soon as possible.”
The windy conditions are expected to ease throughout Friday.
The wild weather followed several rounds of storms that struck the Geelong region on Thursday.
A severe weather warning and flood warnings for the Barwon, Leigh and Moorabool rivers have been issued.