A young boy is among three people killed after wild winds slammed Victoria overnight, bringing down trees and leaving thousands of homes without power.
In a deadly night of extreme weather, a four-year-old boy was crushed by a tree in Blackburn South on Thursday evening.
The child sustained critical injuries and was rushed to hospital where he later died.
A 59-year-old man also died tragically after a falling tree smashed onto his car in Melbourne’s east.
The Tecoma resident was driving out of a shopping centre carpark in Belgrave when a tree fell onto the vehicle shortly after 6:00pm.
Another fallen tree crushed a ute travelling on the Maroondah Highway at Fernshaw.
The passenger, a 36-year-old woman, was killed upon impact, while the 24-year-old male driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
The fast-moving cold front swept southern Victoria on Thursday afternoon before barrelling into Melbourne during the night, leaving tens of thousands of homes without power.
“It’s been a wild, windy evening out there,” the State Emergency Service said on Thursday night.
“We’re urging any road users to please drive carefully and to the conditions particularly across the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne and the Yarra Ranges.
“Look out for fallen branches and debris.”
At least 1700 people across the state phoned the Victorian State Emergency Service for help, mostly relating to fallen trees.
The worst-affected areas included Mount Evelyn, Belgrave, Croydon, Lilydale and Mount Waverley.
Power has been restored to most locations after more than 130,000 homes experienced outages.
Ausnet said 52,000 customers remained without power in Victoria’s east and 600 Powercor customers were also without power Friday morning.
— Shane Whitley (@newsheli) August 27, 2020
Wilsons Promontory experienced the strongest wind gust that day at 158kph at 7.37pm.
Wind gusts as high as 124 kilometres per hour were recorded at Mount Gellibrand, east of Colac, and 100kph winds were recorded at Port Fairy, on the state’s south-west coast.
Work to clear up the debris left by Thursday’s intense storms is underway. Roads are littered with fallen trees and branches.