TREES fell onto houses and roads, a car was squashed by falling branches and a roof was blown off a sports club in a wild 24 hours for the Ballarat region.
State Emergency Service volunteers responded to more than 70 calls for help yesterday, including at the Ballan Golf Club, where winds ripped the roof from the main clubhouse building.
Club secretary Rod Caithness, who lives down the road, heard the roof blow off around 8am.
“It made an awful clatter,” he said.
“The SES came and had a look but they said it’s too big a job for them to fix. Council came along to help; they have secured the roof in the car park.”
The tin roof is believed to be approximately 15 metres wide by 30 metres long. It landed in the club’s car park.
“It ripped all the battens out,” club member Michael Newman said. “It was a fair-sized roof.”
All power was cut to the building after the roof hit power lines.
SES spokesperson Catherine Ogata said the wild weather yesterday brought down a large number of trees, which fell across roads and accounted for most of the clean-up work.
She also said a jumping castle crashed over a fence in Ballarat and a trampoline was thrown across several backyards.
“Our motto at the moment is prepare now, or pay later,” she said.
“People need to make sure all loose items, garden furniture and especially trampolines are secured.”
Strong winds were recorded at Ballarat, but the state’s top was in the Grampians, where 137km/h gusts were recorded at Mt William.
More bursts of damaging winds swept through last night, with 50 calls to the SES made after 7pm.
The SES and the City of Ballarat worked late into the night clearing roads.
“We’ve had four vehicles out all night and 25 personnel working from the SES.”
SES spokesperson Stefan Delatovic said although they had many calls, none of the incidents were serious or caused serious injury.
“Sheets of iron blew off a roof in Macarthur Street around 7.50pm, where they blew down into a yard,” Mr Delatovic said.
“A tree fell down on Melbourne Road around 7.45pm as well.”
The extreme weather has also prompted the CFA to issue burn-off warnings, with fears the strong winds could fan grass fires.
Although there are no burn-off restrictions at this time of year, the CFA says the community needs to consider the weather and act accordingly.
CFA state duty officer Tony Bearzatto said the wild weather brought down power lines yesterday and grass fires ignited from burn-offs at several locations across the state.
“Temperatures don’t need to be high for a grass fire to spread,” he said.
“The gale-force winds we’re seeing ... are enough for a grass fire to take off.”
A house near Lake Esmond was damaged yesterday when a tree on the property fell in heavy winds.
A car was damaged by falling branches in Black Hill.