Some Alfredton residents have been left with significant repair bills after strong winds left a trail of destruction, with one resident likening the storm to being similar to one of the opening scenes in the Wizard of Oz.
A strong storm caused severe damage in the Canopy Avenue area of Alfredton early on Monday morning - flattening fences, upending letterboxes and tearing metal sheeting from roofs.
Once the sun rose, homeowners assessed the damage caused by the storm and how much they would need to fork out for repair bills, as they were assisted by a State Emergency Service crew and tradespeople.
One resident, Peter Chapman, told The Courier he was woken by the heavy rain about 5.30am.
"It was like when you get a big gust at the back end of a storm but it just didn't stop," he said.
"It was the wildest, weirdest thing I've ever heard. It was like a jet [plane] was starting up on my roof.
It was the wildest, weirdest thing I've ever heard. It was like a jet was starting up on my roof.Peter Chapman
"Then I heard a bang and a few crashes. I expected to come out and the whole roof would be gone."
As it was still dark, he ventured out of his front door with a torch in his hand.
He then saw the canopy off the back of his neighbour's ute in the middle of the road and the car itself pushed up into the gutter, his own side fence flat on the ground and part of a shed sitting on the front lawn of the house across the road.
At this point other residents of the normally quiet street had started to turn their front lights on and stick their heads out of their front doors to see what was going on.
Walking up the street, Mr Chapman spotted what he recognised to be a part of his roof - he is the only one in the area with that colour.
"I could see the sisalation blowing in the wind so I rushed home and by that time the water was streaming through the lights."
The rain continued to "hammer down" for a while afterwards but Mr Chapman said the strong winds only lasted a few minutes. He said the event reminded him of one of the opening scenes from the Wizard of Oz.
While he has only lived in his home for about 12 months, the damage means extensive repairs will need to be undertaken to his roof, while the plaster in the dining room and kitchen area will need to be replaced. The SES put a tarp over the roof in the early hours of the morning.
He and his neighbour's garage roller doors were sucked outwards by the pressure of the storm system, meaning they will both need to be repaired or even replaced, as will their shared front fence flattened by the winds.
While one man was driving around the area looking for his shed, Mr Chapman is yet to find the owner of the one which blew into his backyard.
"It was just hectic," Mr Chapman said, adding it was a startling thing to wake up to. "It was like being in a warzone."
Meanwhile, just around the corner, Emma Fenwick had risen when her alarm sounded at 5.30am and had also been listening to the heavy rain.
Hearing a noise she likened to being like a freight truck that was becoming louder and louder she realised it must have been the wind and pulled back one of her curtains.
"I went to the window to have a look - the rain and the wind had picked up and I saw a bit of tin flying down the road," she said.
"The sound of the wind was insane. It was a really incredible sound - like being in a vortex. It sounded like the wind was enveloping the house."
The noise intensified with crashing and banging as items were picked up and thrown around the streets in the strong winds.
Braving the weather after the winds clamed down, she saw a big piece of tin against the house opposite hers and that a fence up the road had been pushed over.
Venturing into her own backyard, she saw numerous roof tiles smashed on the ground, pieces of tin blown in from neighbouring properties and a chair on the lawn.
She also discovered that part of her air conditioning unit was missing. It was later located up the road.
The rain leaked through her smoke detectors and cooling vents, causing significant damage.
"It's one of those random events that you don't expect," Ms Fenwick said, adding they had only been living in the house since July 2019.
"We now just want to get things cleaned up as quickly as possible to prevent further damage to the house."
While their homes and several others were severely damaged, other neighbours were unaffected - some didn't even hear it.
One emerged after the worst of the storm thinking the loud noise had been a car crash while another thought that a transformer had exploded.
The homes in this part of Alfredton are all relatively new, with most people having only lived in their new homes for about 12 months.
An area that has attracted many young families, both Mr Chapman and Ms Fenwick said that despite the damage, they are glad that nobody was injured.
"I am thankful and grateful that [debris] and tin didn't smash through people's windows and that nobody was hurt," Ms Fenwick said.
Mr Chapman, who runs a fencing business, called up a few tradie friends who turned out to assess the damage. He said he was thankful for the community turning out to help he and his neighbours.
The SES responded to dozens of calls for assistance across the Mid-West region across Sunday and Monday as a result of the weather.
Kerin Arndt, Senior Forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology, said there had been a fair bit of wind damage with the storm that passed through but there did not appear to have been any tornadic activity.
It's mostly winds that could be associated with the thunderstorm outflow. These could be really rapid onset of winds, similar in nature to tornadic damage in that the winds are very strong for a short amount of time.BOM senior forecaster Kerin Arndt
"It's mostly winds that could be associated with the thunderstorm outflow. These could be really rapid onset of winds, similar in nature to tornadic damage in that the winds are very strong for a short amount of time.
"But generally they all come from one direction and it's just associated with a thunderstorm as it moves through."
Ballarat officially ended up recording 40.8mm in the 24 hours to Monday morning, making it the wettest day of 2020.
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