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Hundreds of Victorians still without power

Hundreds of Victorians are still without power as electricity companies work to repair parts of the network damaged by the week’s wild weather.

A relief centre has opened up in Kinglake, one of the worst hit parts of the state, where people affected by the blackouts can get access to electricity.

SP Ausnet spokesman Jonathon Geddes said while power had been restored to the main parts of Kinglake, households around Toolangi, Glenburn and Healesville were still without electricity.

“There is a high possibility some will remain without power overnight,” he said.

Mr Geddes said the company would work late into the night to restore power to the area and apologised for the inconvenience.

He said a “mini-cyclone” tore through the area on Tuesday, ripping through kilometres of power lines that snake through the dense forests.


Mr Geddes said about 2500 households connected with SP Ausnet were still without power.

The Murrindindi Shire Council has set up a relief centre at Kinglake's district service centre for residents affected by the blackouts, where people can access electricity from a generator.

The council’s general manager for infrastructure, Tamara Johnson, said the centre opened its doors on Wednesday evening and would remain open on Thursday. She estimated fewer than ten people had used the centre’s facilities as most people were opting to remain indoors.

She said businesses had also been without power, including the local supermarket, but were operating at reduced capacity.

Geoff Russell from the emergency management section of the Department of Human Services said people in the area were resilient and generally had supplies to help them cope with the outage.

“It’s a community that has gone through a lot and they are learning to be prepared,” he said.

More than 80,000 homes throughout the state lost power following Tuesday’s storms.

On Wednesday, emergency services warned residents of parts of country Victoria to brace for wild weather conditions late overnight.

The Bureau of Meteorology cancelled a severe weather warning for the state’s central region including Melbourne, but issued a fresh warning for damaging winds of 70 to 100km/h in the north-eastern Alpine area, and for across Gippsland and offshore in Port Phillip Bay.

The gales were not expected to ease until late Thursday morning or early afternoon.

SES media officer Sally Lowenstein said those in affected areas should visit the SES website, for advice such as securing loose items around their property before the storm hits, not to park or shelter under trees during a storm, and to look out for hazards on the roads.

She said during the storms from midnight on Monday until 8.30am on Wednesday, the SES received 3200 calls for assistance, with300 jobs still being cleared up by morning. She said 72 SES units were involved, including rural crews travelling to the city to help.

Overnight Melbourne’s temperature was expected to fall to 11 degrees, and Thursday's forecast was for a partly cloudy say with isolated showers during the morning and winds west to northwesterly of up to 40 km/h turning northerly up to 25 km/h by the evening.

Friday will have a mostly sunny morning with a forecast top of 17 degrees and the chance of showers in the evening, while on Saturday there will be possible hail in the afternoon and evening and a maximum temperature of just 14 degrees. 

with Carolyn Webb