Following a horrific day of weather across the state, water and power remains out of action in Trentham.
The Courier's Tarnay Sass made it home to Trentham on Wednesday night just as the storm hit, not realising how bad it was going to be.
"It's been exhausting," she said - she got to Daylesford from Ballarat as the rain began falling "sideways".
"I thought it was winter, not a big deal," she said.
"Then between Daylesford and Trentham I noticed more leaves, branches, debris (on the side of the road) - there were times I had to stop and swerve a bit in the dark."
AS IT HAPPENED:
It was when she made it out of Daylesford her route was blocked by a large tree.
"A ute overtook me, and when it came back past it had its hazards on - I got to the tree, parked there for a minute thinking "what do I do", then an SES man was on the other side of the log," she said,
"He asked if I was going to wait around, he guessed it would take about a half hour to clear - at this point, it wasn't scary, it got scarier later."
After going back to Daylesford and deciding to go back to Trentham, she was stopped by more fallen trees, and it was then communications became a problem as the storm worsened.
"There was another car on the side of the road, a lady who works at Trentham aged care on the night shift, we had no idea what to do," she said.
"My phone was on two per cent, I couldn't get the car charger to work, there was no reception, and (the aged care worker) couldn't get through to anyone - this was about 8pm.
"I got my work phone, that was on two per cent as well, and walked up the road to get reception and phoned triple-zero - they asked where I was, I said I wasn't sure, then it cut out, and I didn't know if they were coming or not."
In the driving wind and rain, more people arrived with chainsaws, including SES volunteers, and other drivers decided to find another route while the tree was being removed.
"It was kind of terrifying, they told me there was no point driving forward, no way you'll get to Trentham from here," she said.
"One of the ladies said she knew a different way, and asked if wanted to try it, if not we'll turn back."
She joined a convoy of strangers driving about 40km/h through shocking conditions on the road to Springhill, Tylden, and home to Trentham.
"It was the scariest drive of my life, neither of my phones were charged, I didn't know where we were going, following two women I didn't know, trees everywhere," she said.
"We had to do what felt like four-wheel-driving to get through these trees.
"I did get home, but two seconds from home, there was a giant tree right up my street, so I had to turn back and go a different way to get home."
What was normally a one hour drive took four hours, and home was a very different place - there was no power in Trentham, and phone coverage was patchy, she said.
"My boyfriend was stranded in Blackwood, I didn't hear from him until midday the next day," she said.
"I couldn't charge my phone, I had no power."
Morning brought no relief, with emergency services already in town.
"The road leading into Trentham, Pearsons Road, was the main focus, they were trying to direct traffic around," she said.
"The CFA said it's impossible to get to Daylesford right now, they said the CFA was trapped in Trentham as well."
As well as no electricity, word soon emerged that the town was running out of water, and there was no phone coverage to check facts.
"Powercor had sent us all a text, saying power would be back on by 3pm, but now it feels like "when the hell are we going to get power back?" she said.
"Later in the day, because we didn't have internet and phone reception in town, and all the roads seemingly leading out of town had a road closed sign, all the information was word of mouth, and with gossip stuff, it gets worse.
"It snowballed, and there were no facts, we couldn't get on the internet.
"But on the other hand, lots of people volunteering to cut down trees with their chainsaws, so people were helping out as well."
IN THE NEWS
As of Thursday night, the township was still in the dark in every sense, and Coliban Water has warned residents not to use tap water, with several roads remaining closed out of town.
"It felt like it'll be over soon, but tonight it's a bit scary, I don't have much petrol left - I tried to drive to Kyneton and saw trees on the road," she said.
"Our gas bottle ran out just before, I had to go out and switch it over.
"It's really cold, there's no heating, and the food in the fridge is warm, no shops are open.
"It feels very 'what the hell are we supposed to do'."
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