More than 20,000 properties across Victoria remain without power after a day of high winds left a woman dead and at least six other people injured.
Winds of almost 120 kilometres per hour brought down trees and damaged buildings and powerlines on Sunday.
A woman in her 50s, who has not been identified, died after a tree crushed her home at Millgrove in Melbourne’s east and a number of people, including two CFA officers, were injured by falling branches.
Sharon Rhynsburger, who lives next door to the deceased woman, said she was sitting at her kitchen table when a tree came crashing through the ceiling.
“It was surreal. My partner said to me, ‘We could have been killed’,” she said.
“I had my dressing gown on and apparently I was laughing. I was in shock.”
Another huge tree fell over at Menzies Creek Primary School in Melbourne’s outer east, damaging classrooms and the school’s playground.
More than 120,000 properties lost power during the height of Sunday’s severe wind event, which saw more than 2000 trees and 365 powerlines downed.
Emergency Management Victoria Commissioner Craig Lapsley said 83,000 premises were still listed as being without power overnight.
“It’s still fairly hazardous. We’ve still got really strong winds along the Portland-Warrnambool coast today,” he told ABC News Radio.
Power companies working to restore supply
Over 23,000 electricity customers across Victoria remained without power on Monday evening.
AusNet Services spokesman Hugo Armstrong said some people may be without power throughout Tuesday.
“We hope to get the majority of our customers back on supply today, but it will take all day tomorrow to get the rest on supply, particularly the single premise outages,” he said.
Mr Armstrong said dozens of trees and branches had come down over powerlines.
“Sometimes we are lucky enough to get the vegetation off the line and restore supplies but in many situations we’ve had to rebuild long sections of line to repair the damage and get people back on supply,” he said.
An earlier severe weather warning for parts of Victoria, where winds of up to 90kph were predicted, has now been cancelled. However, flood warnings remain in place.
The weather forced Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport to use just one runway on Sunday, causing delays and the cancellation of dozens of flights.
The State Emergency Service, Country Fire Authority and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade had received more than 5200 calls since 10:00am on Sunday.