Emergency workers are concerned that simple safety messages are failing to get through to some Central Victorians.
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Ballarat was one of the most storm ravaged parts of Victoria, with the SES clocking close to 200 jobs from midday Sunday to 9am Monday morning. Grampians region duty officer Gavin Kelly said Ballarat was the busiest region behind metropolitan Melbourne, with no suburb of Ballarat spared.
The SES responded to 45 calls for building damage while one Mount Clear house was declared uninhabitable after a tree crashed into it.
“The damage occurred right across our area. Mount Clear had a few reports of damage but it was spread across Delacombe, Sebastopol, Mount Clear, Ballarat Central and Alfredton,” Mr Kelly said.
“The real issue is because of Ballarat’s elevation and altitude there were gusts reaching 90-100 km/h.
“We’ve had three to four weeks of flooding and wet conditions and that certainly causes trees to fall over more easily.”
Mr Kelly described the conditions as a “one in every three to four year weather event”. He said workers were concerned residents were not heeding advice – such as staying away from trees during storms or not driving through flood waters.
Paramedics are urging people to take care cleaning up after yesterday’s wild winds which left one person dead and 20 other people in hospital.
A Buninyong man in his 60s was playing golf when a tree branch fell on him. It took 45 minutes to free him. The man has head and leg injuries and was taken to Ballarat Base Hospital in a stable condition.
Ballarat City Fire Station Senior Station Officer Steve Poulter said CFA and SES crews worked together throughout Sunday to attend several jobs. The partnership ensured firefighting crews could attend power line outages, which SES crews cannot attend, while PowerCor was on its way.
“The major hazard with fallen power lines is electrocution and structural damage done to any power pole,” Mr Poulter said.
“We helped secure the area until the power company company could turn the supply off. The jobs were for right across Ballarat and the SES and firefighting crews worked with DELWP.”
Ambulance Victoria acting Director of Emergency Management Justin Dunlop has urged people to take care when cleaning up or consider getting a professional in.
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