Relatives and friends in Victoria and overseas are mourning the loss of a woman, and praying for the recovery of her two family members, after a 30-metre gum tree fell on her car during Friday’s wild weather.
Melbourne mother Angie Suryadi, 41, could not be saved after the car in which she was the front seat passenger was crushed as the family drove through the Yarra Ranges.
Her two young sons and her husband Arnold Adiatiasvara, 41, were injured and rescued by emergency crews who had rushed to the Maroondah Highway on a stretch of road called the Black Spur, between Healesville and Narbethong.
A spokesperson for the Royal Children’s Hospital told The New Daily on Saturday a four-year-old boy remains in a critical condition.
Victoria Police issued a statement on Friday afternoon at 4pm that the male driver was airlifted to hospital also in a critical condition.
A second boy aged 5 is likely to be discharged later on Saturday.
Yarra Ranges Highway Patrol officers are investigating and will prepare a report for the Coroner.
Victorians have been urged to take care as high winds, rainfall and snow down to 500mm will continue over the weekend. Winds are expected to ease on Saturday to between 60 and 70km/h but it’s still set to be very cold – 11 degrees on Saturday – and wet, with falls of 20-40mm forecast for central Victoria and parts of Gippsland.
Light snow dusted paddocks and gardens in regional Victoria overnight including Mt Macedon, Hepburn and across town towards Beaconsfield.
Meanwhile, parts of NSW continue to be lashed by high winds but most of the severe weather has left Sydney.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned NSW to brace itself for “Antarctic winds” blowing from south of Tasmania, bringing damaging winds, snow and below zero temperatures.
“The winds we saw yesterday are extending further north today and will remain strong and gusty throughout the weekend,” spokesperson Craig Ryan said.
“There’s a possibility of damaging winds up through the Hunter, through the Southern Tablelands, Illawarra and the higher parts of the south coast, west of Bega.”
Snowfalls have been recorded across the Blue Mountains and roads further out between Orange and Bathurst.
The Bureau of Meteorology on Saturday predicted wind gusts exceeding 90km/h for the Illawarra, high parts of the South Coast, the Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands and the Snowy Mountains and a strong wind warning remains in place for Sydney’s coastal waterways.
Hazardous surf is also predicted for the entire NSW coast except the Byron region. Should the strong winds pick up again, more delays and cancellations are likely at Sydney Airport, where more than 180 domestic flights were cancelled on Friday.
At least 12 cars were involved in multiple collisions near Jindabyne on the Alpine Way on Friday afternoon, with one crash involving a police car and three others.
Another eight cars lost control along the road and became involved in the incident with five managing lucky escapes only to get stuck in snow on the side of the road.
Snow and ice continue to affect roads in the Blue Mountains, including the Mitchell Highway between Orange and Bathurst and the Mid Western Highway around Fitzgeralds Mount.
The Great Western Highway between Mount Victoria and Lithgow remains open.
The damaging winds also ripped the roof off the Presbyterian Aged Care facility at Stockton, in Newcastle, on Friday morning forcing the evacuation of about 30 people.
Earlier on Friday in southeast Melbourne, rough seas claimed part of Frankston’s pier, with the end of the structure snapping off and floating away as the suburb copped winds of 95km/h while gusts of 128km/h were recorded at Wilsons Promontory.
Winds are expected to ease on Saturday to between 60 and 70km/h.
“No doubt it will feel much colder because of the wind chill,” Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Keris Arndt said.
“Cool conditions really stay with us through the weekend though they will ease off by mid next week – but it will take a little while to get there.”
The severe weather warning remains in place for eastern Victoria.
In NSW, the SES received more than 900 requests for help since midnight Thursday, including 370 in the Sydney region.
Almost 200 new jobs have come in since midnight Saturday, with most relating to fallen trees and branches, with some reporting roof damage.