Storms hit Casey

There were fallen trees all throughout the south-east, including Springvale.

By Emma Xerri

The impacts of Tuesday afternoon’s state-wide storms are continuing to be felt by people right across Casey, dealing with hazards and power outages that have rendered even the easiest of tasks, like driving to work (if your office has power, that is), far more dangerous.

Fallen trees have already seen at least one person injured in Narre Warren East after a tree fell and hit their car, with a branch spearing their leg.

In response to the damage, the Narre Warren SES has been inundated with work as they continue to respond to more than 120 requests for assistance, as of 11.30am Wednesday.

These requests are primarily for tree down conditions, with around 103 requests concerning traffic hazards, powerlines, trees fallen on buildings and restricted access to properties.

Only 11 calls were classed as ’Building Damage’, and the remaining calls were for ’Other’ matters such as a fence blown over or a trampoline blown away.

Taking to social media to interact with local residents, the Narre Warren branch expressed the need to priortise the most urgent requests first, hard at work to first address fallen trees presenting traffic hazards, blocked access or persons trapped, and asks that those who have placed requests be patient.

Meanwhile power provider AusNet is reckoning with an approximate 22,000 customers across Beaconsfield and the surrounding areas who are currently without power, and an estimate is still to be provided for when the power in these areas will return.

The provider has implemented additional measures to help mitigate this heightened period, including additional crews, a locally-stationed helicopter, specialist Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter (REFCL) engineers and extra staff in their call centre.

“Before we can restore the electricity, we need to physically patrol the line to locate, identify, and if required, clear the cause of the fault, which is a time-consuming process,” AusNet executive general manager, Steven Neave, said.

“We understand this is frustrating and impactful for the community and we apologise. We are working on resolving this as a priority.

“We encourage community members to report any faults or potential faults that they see to our team.

“The most common cause of faults in hot windy conditions is trees, branches or bark falling on a power line. Reporting this to AusNet may help us narrow down fault locations so that they can be restored more quickly.”

The Cranbourne and Pakenham lines were running on Wednesday 14 February, but with delays between Caulfield and Westall.