Half a million homes without power as major storms lash Victoria

Half a million homes without power as major storms lash Victoria

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An estimated half a million Victorian homes are without power after ferocious storms caused major electrical transmission lines and power generators to fail.

Wild weather ripped through large parts of regional Victoria and Melbourne this afternoon bringing golf ball-sized hail, flash flooding and severe winds.

The Australian Energy Market Operator confirmed a “significant power system event” unfolded during the storms.

READ MORE: Communities in western Victoria told to take shelter as multiple fires burn out of control

Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio has taken to social media to confirm 500,000 homes are without power due to the physical collapse of transmission towers after she met with the AEMO chief executive.

“AEMO is working hard to restore power,” she posted.

Incredible images emerged of the destroyed power transmission lines appearing to show the lines, near Geelong, completely collapsed.

Crews have been sent out to inspect the lines but it’s unknown how long it will take to restore them. 

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In a statement, a spokesperson from AEMO said crews were actively working to restore power to impacted areas.

“These power outages are due to high temperatures, strong winds and lightning causing damage to the electricity network,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, dozens of metropolitan train lines have been suspended while others are facing major delays due to the weather.

Replacement buses have been ordered but waits of up to 60 minutes are expected.

After mostly dry, hot and windy conditions this morning, the severe thunderstorms and lightning rolled across central parts of Victoria and Melbourne this afternoon.

Storms early this morning caused major fires to ignite in western Victoria, with emergency services warning the dangerous weather conditions “aren’t over yet.”

The storms wreaked havoc in the west of the state, with heavy hail and strong winds bringing down powerlines and ripping up infrastructure at Anakie, north of Geelong.

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Major flooding inundated roads in Clayton, in Melbourne’s south-east, where a large tree fell onto a road and ripped up a footpath.

The storms were so fierce they ripped the roof off one house in Melbourne, scattering debris over the road.

Temperatures that were previously sitting at a 41-degree high, quickly dropped by 15 degrees to 26 Celsius in a matter of minutes.

Wind gusts reached up to 130km/h in parts of the state.

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https://twitter.com/PowercorAust/status/1757282532205416948

Stunned locals shared the aftermath of the “chaotic” storms, that tore sheds apart and flung trampolines through the air.

Others shared vision to social media of large pieces of hail strewn about backyards.

The severe storms also caused trees to fall across major roads in Melbourne’s Ferntree Gully, while the state’s transport authority cancelled trains.

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The state control centre issued a severe thunderstorm warning for metropolitan Melbourne, predicting damaging winds and hail to rain down on the city.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s emergency services meteorologist Kevin Parkyn said the dangerous weather would move through the state into this evening.

He said this morning’s early thunderstorms contributed to the emergency fires crews were currently battling in western Victoria.

The gusty winds are expected to move through Geelong and into Melbourne and then northern Victoria over the coming hours.

“These storms are severe,” Parkyn said.

“It’ll continue for the next few hours, but temperatures will drop rapidly and then hopefully by sunrise tomorrow the severe weather will be over.”

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