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Residents counting cost of massive storm that ripped through Geelong

Courier Mail 2020-05-21 03:19:00

Residents of Victoria’s southwest are counting the cost of a storm that came out of nowhere after midnight and tore through a whole suburb.

The freak storm, which hit Geelong about 1am yesterday, left more than 100 homes damaged, including as many as 30 in one street in the hardest hit suburb of Waurn Ponds.

Pictures show roofs shredded and ripped off homes. A council rubbish bin was lifted and thrown onto the roof of one home. A trampoline landed in a tree at another home.

At least four homes are now uninhabitable.

Heavy rain and wild winds have devastated properties across Geelong. #9Today

— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) May 20, 2020
media_cameraAerial footage of damage at Waurn Ponds. Picture: Channel 9

The State Emergency Service received more than 100 calls for help on Wednesday at Waurn Ponds and nearby Mt Duneed.

Across the state, the SES received more than 240 calls for help.

State manager at the Bureau of Meteorology Andrew Tupper said a strong cold front moved across the state late on Tuesday night, bringing the line of thunderstorms and lightning.

The wind from the storms caused the most damage, Mr Tupper said on Wednesday.

Winds were severe all over Victoria, with Ballarat reaching gusts of 98km/h and Falls Creek 135km/h at 8am on Wednesday.

Mr Tupper said Victorians should expect more rain over the coming days, but no severe storms would arrive with it and further damage was unlikely.

media_cameraMassive strong winds ripped through the Geelong suburb of Waurn Ponds. Picture: Peter Ristevski media_cameraThe Geelong suburb of Waurn Ponds was hardest hit. Picture: Peter Ristevski

Waurn Ponds resident Ken said the suburb “looks like a war zone”.

He told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell: “It has just come through on one straight line and just wiped out roofs on houses. It’s just carnage everywhere.”

Kylie Koulkoudinas told 7 News it was the most terrifying night of her life.

“I saw the flash of light first and then it was the bang,” she said.

“Then it just all broke loose and you could hear debris hitting the house. It was like ice in a blender just magnified.”

Mr Tupper told the Herald Sun his team was in the process of trying to establish whether the damage was caused by a tornado.

media_cameraA basketball ring that has seen better days at Waurn Ponds. Picture: Peter Ristevski media_cameraErin Geer was injured in her home when a piece of glass lodged in her arm as the wind swept through. Picture: Peter Ristevski

“At the moment we’re in the early stages of finding out what has happened in terms of the severe storm itself, so I’ve sent three severe weather specialists to have a look at the damage together with SES and firefighters, who have been doing the survey work, and we don’t know until they report back whether it was a tornado or downburst,” he said.

Originally published as Entire street ruined by monster storm

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