Storm chaos uproots region

A STORM felled trees across homes and roads across South Gippsland last Wednesday evening.

Rush is on: Leongatha SES members joined with volunteers and authorities to clear fallen trees from across South Gippsland after last Wednesday’s storm.

Severe wind and heavy rain saw emergency services work with crews from shire councils and VicRoads to attend calls for help.

Leongatha State Emergency Service attended 50 jobs from Leongatha through to Dumbalk, Darlimurla, Lang Lang and Poowong.

The SES received its first callout at around 6pm Wednesday and due to the influx of calls for help, sent multiple crews out across the region. The final crew finished at 2am Thursday.  

The SES received further requests for help on Thursday morning and over lunch, however most storm-related operations were over the initial eight hours. Requests for help were taken from Leongatha, Leongatha South, Dumbalk, Nyora, Darlimurla, Mirboo North, Nerrena, Poowong, Poowong North, Meeniyan, Loch, Lang Lang, Mardan and Korumburra. 

The South Gippsland Highway between Nyora and Lang Lang was affected for 10km, and Meeniyan-Mirboo North Road and Nerrena Road, Dumbalk were also badly hit.

Leongatha SES spokesperson Kate Lochlin said, “The majority of our callouts were to multiple large trees down across roads, creating hazardous and in many cases impassable traffic conditions, though we also received multiple requests to assist with building damage after trees fell on several homes.

“Early in the night, we were also paged to a potential rescue scenario, with a car and driver reported to be stuck in rising floodwater, however a local police unit were able to respond immediately and offer assistance and we, thankfully, were no longer needed.”

The most labour and time intensive operation involved clearing of five kilometres of fallen trees from the South Gippsland Highway near Nyora.

“Local police units ensured the safety of our volunteers and passing motorists through traffic control operations while we spent a total of approximately four hours cutting through and clearing the highway of debris,” Ms Lochlin said.

“We also had the very generous assistance of a local farmer, who offered the use of their tractor to help clear the large amount of debris from the highway.”

Leongatha SES worked with Pakenham SES to clear the highway.

“We are incredibly proud of our volunteers and the selfless dedication and perseverance they have shown in aid of their local community,” Ms Lochlin said.

“We could not possibly emphasise this enough. Large-scale events such as this, however, highlight how important it is for our unit to expand and gain new members in order to meet our local and neighbouring communities’ need for emergency service response operations.”

Foster SES were also involved in the storm clean-up.

Bass Coast Shire Council staff were out from 10.45pm to 5am, with trees down at Loch-Kernot Road, Loch; Dunvegan Crescent at Surf Beach; Woodleigh St-Helier, Woodleigh; Nyora St-Helier, Loch; Ventnor Road, Ventnor; and Loch-Wonthaggi Road /Garnhams Road.

Council’s arboriculture crew were at Nyora-St Helier Road on Thursday to remove a large dangerous tree that needed removal.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=27395

Posted by on Feb 5 2019. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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