Statewide recovery, as 24,000 homes have no power

SES crews are busy as communities recover from the storm on Tuesday.

SES crews are busy as communities recover from the storm on Tuesday. Photo: AAP

Regional communities are beginning their recovery efforts after powerful storms lashed most of Victoria on Tuesday.

The storms resulted in one of the biggest power outages in Victoria’s history, with 530,000 properties off the grid at one point.

Collapsed transmission lines caused Loy Yang A coal-fired power station in the Latrobe Valley to shut down, but widespread outages were said to be caused by local transmission damage.

Energy Safe Victoria is investigating factors that contributed to the collapse of six transmission towers, including provider AusNet’s compliance with safety obligations.

About 16 houses in the South Gippsland community of Mirboo North are uninhabitable after the storm, and around 24,000 homes and businesses remained without power at 5pm Friday.

The SES received about 4800 requests for assistance since Tuesday, and the busiest SES units include Monash (902), Emerald (381) and Greater Dandenong (323).

The worst affected areas are Belgrave and Ferntree Gully and areas in Melbourne’s outer east, and Cape Woolamai and San Remo on the Bass Coast.

There are 300 active requests for emergency assistance across the state with 80 of those requests in Mirboo North where a dairy farmer was killed during the storm on Tuesday.

A relief centre has been set up in Mirboo North to provide information, electricity generators and satellite internet for residents.

Power outage payments for homes and businesses that spend more than seven days without power are worth $1920 per week for households and $2927 for businesses.

Devon North, located 5km north of Yarram, and Kilcunda and Krowera in the Bass Coast Shire remain without any form of telecommunications, triple-zero calls may not connect.

North of Melbourne Charlton, Donald and Birchip locals have been urged to reduce water use due to widespread power outages affecting water treatment plants and pump stations.

In Mirboo North and Morwell residents have been urged to reduce water use due to storm-damaged infrastructure.

The Yarram and District Health Service, and Korumburra Hospital in Gippsland remain on backup power generators, and they are expected to be reconnected on Saturday.

About 15,000 simultaneous calls were made to triple zero as the storm descended across the state on Tuesday, and it was the busiest day on record for Victoria Police call-takers.


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