The severe weather event that impacted many parts of Victoria late last week, has caused significant damage in Hepburn Shire, particularly in Trentham and surrounding townships.
There is significant damage in the region, including trees on roads and roadsides, damaged powerlines, fencing, structures and some homes.
Mayor, Cr Lesley Hewitt, said that many areas are still not safe.
“While the weather has settled, trees are vulnerable and branches and limbs may still fall. Please avoid travelling in storm affected areas unless necessary,” said Cr Hewitt.
A relief centre was established in Trentham on Friday 11 June to support the community, particularly those without power and water after the storm event.
“Council coordinated a Relief Centre at the Trentham Mechanics Institute for affected residents to chat with our staff and representatives from other agencies, charge their phones, access fresh water and food relief, including non-perishable food boxes and hot meals. The relief centre has now been scaled back, but support will continue to be available. To support the community further Council also made showers available at the Trentham Swimming Pool so residents could still enjoy a warm shower,” said Cr Hewitt.
“Free green waste disposal has been provided to the community at all Shire transfer stations until 27 June to enable residents to clean up properties. We have extended the opening hours of the Trentham Transfer Station and it will also be accepting spoiled food from local residents and businesses affected by power outages.
“We estimate thousands of trees have fallen throughout the Shire, so free green waste disposal is a practical way of supporting our community through this difficult time,” said Cr Hewitt.
“Our Council teams are working with other agencies to respond to the impact of the storm. The damage is widespread and we’re prioritising urgent works. A big thank you to Council staff and all emergency services for their response to this emergency. We will be working with the government on options for community and business recovery. We will also be looking at what more we can do to support our residents.”
“If you are concerned about a tree on Council land please register a service request by calling Customer Service or logging an online request via our website. If you need help with trees on private property please call the SES. We ask for patience as Council resources are stretched in many departments dealing with this emergency,” said Cr Hewitt.
The Victorian Council of Churches Emergencies Ministry (VCC EM) is able to provide residents affected by the severe weather event with personal support. For information or to register for personal support from VCC EM residents should visit https://vccem.org.au/services/personal-support/. They can also be contacted on (03) 9654 1736.
Hepburn Shire parks and reserves are closed until further notice due to unsafe conditions.
“We are asking the community to not use these areas. Our teams are currently prioritising roads and driveways for access purposes, and we will complete audits of all our sites before they are reopened to the public.
“It’s really important to remember that any further rain or wind will weaken already vulnerable trees, so please take care when driving on our Shire roads,” said Cr Hewitt.