(Emergency services had a hectic day on Wednesday night and Thursday. Trees were down across fences, gardens and roads all around Daylesford and Hepburn Springs as the storm went through.
Residents report the wind sounded like a jet engine roaring through the night. The recent wet weather saw many trees completely uprooted.
Many home owners and motorists were grateful for the efforts of the Hepburn SES as they cleared away fallen trees and branches. Others helped one another out clearing up the debris from Wednesday night’s storm.
The Wombat Botanical Gardens were hard hit. Several trees were down many sustained damage. The picnic shelter narrowly escaped demolition. The Gardens were closed to traffic as paths were blocked by branches and debris but access to the café is still permitted. Other Shire Parks and Reserves will remain closed until further notice due to unsafe conditions.
Trentham, Musk and Lyonville were almost completely isolated by fallen trees on Thursday. With power out to town water residents were warned not to drink tap water.
Visitor to the area Lee Jameson was trapped on the Daylesford-Trentham Rd near Falls Rd for 13 hours on Thursday night. CFA volunters delivered water and blankets to the stranded visitors and a local resident provided a warm lunch while they waited for roads to be cleared.
“We would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation,” said Mr Jameson in a social media post. “It was a frightening experience and knowing CFA volunteers Pat, David and others risked their own lives to cut through fences and fallen trees to reach us makes us humble.”
Emergency services were urging caution in travelling on local roads. Most are now clear but there is still a risk of running into branches and trees on lesser used roads and tracks.
Damaging wind gusts of between 50 and 100 km per hour peaked during the night. Across the State 200,000 people were without power.
In Daylesford power was out for most of the day. A Powercor spokesperson said, “We know it’s been a tough 24 hours for many Victorians hit by the wild weather. We’re asking the public to understand our crews have a job to do to ensure they can get power back on as quickly and safely as possible following a devastating winter storm.”
The community is indebted to the Daylesford SES and CFA volunteers who have worked tirelessly for the past few days to clear roads and secure damaged buildings. These organisations are largely funded by donations and fundraising activities but these have been curtailed over the past year by COVID restrictions. For information on how to support these organisations, see the CFA donations page or the SES donations page.