Freak wind storm leaves trail of damage

An image of Saturday's freak windstorm that cut a swathe of damage through Hepburn and Mount Alexander shires. Photo: Sarah Mitchell

An image of Saturday's freak windstorm that cut a swathe of damage through Hepburn and Mount Alexander shires. Photo: Sarah Mitchell

A freak wind storm cut a swathe of damage through parts of Mount Alexander and Hepburn shires on Saturday evening, leaving water tanks crushed, trees and power lines down and roofing iron ripped off in its wake.

While Castlemaine SES crews and council workers were busy removing felled trees from across roads in the Taradale and Metcalfe areas, at Glenluce, property owner Wendy Fisher returned home from dinner at Kyneton to find a trail of destruction.

Wendy and her husband have a friesian horse property at Glenluce and Wendy said the storm, which struck at about 6.45pm, brought down numerous mature trees on her property and countless others in the Glenluce and Guildford areas.

"It did a heap of damage. We had fence posts broken and numerous large trees down," Wendy said.

"All our ash trees are totally obliterated.

"We were at Kyneton having dinner when it went through and we had to zigzag all the way home because of all the trees down."

Wendy said the freak wind blasted through shedding on her property, leaving contents that had been inside the shed strewn about outside.

"It just pushed through a door, bent a bolt, pulled a door off its hinges and all the tack and horse gear and feed bins that were inside ended up out the door," she said.

"A 44-gallon drum with seed in it ended up out the door.

"It broke our TV antenna off our roof and pulled flashing off our roof and rearranged our neighbour's chicken sheds."

Local SES and CFA crews were kept busy throughout much of Saturday night, working to clear the damage with trees over fences particularly causing headaches for local stock owners.

Wendy describes the storm - which dropped 20 millimetres of rain on Glenluce, as a "tornado" - a term that seems in keeping with the photos her friend, Axe Creek resident Sarah Mitchell took as she was travelling through the area.

Castlemaine SES deputy controller Adam Pratt said the storm brought down many trees in the Taradale and Metcalfe areas and also caused minor property damage.

"Our crews were busy from about 8pm to about midnight and then again on Sunday morning," he said.