Big winds, rain lash city

By Liz Mellino

A nasty cold front brought strong winds and wet weather to the Greater Shepparton area on Wednesday night.

The cold front saw wind and rain hit the region, with Shepparton receiving 3mm of rain and wind gusts of up to 72km/h.

It appears Tatura was hit the hardest with strong wind at 83km/h and close to a dozen calls for assistance from the Victorian State Emergency Service.

A VICSES spokesperson said over the 24 hours from 10am Wednesday to Thursday they received 55 calls for assistance from around the north-east district.

‘‘Tatura was the busiest unit, they responded to 11 calls within Tatura for assistance,’’ the spokesperson said.

Of those 55 calls, 45 were from traffic hazards caused by trees falling down on roads, along with a couple of calls for minor damage to homes.

While VICSES was kept busy, CFA District 22 duty officer Pete Dedman said they attended only a small number of incidents.

Mr Dedman said they attended a couple of car accidents involving fallen tree branches, which he said was fortunate, given the recent weather.

‘‘People should be weary of trees in the area, we have had really strong winds and there could still be some weak limbs that come down,’’ he said.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Rod Dickson said the region was not the hardest hit with other parts of the state receiving wind gusts of 90 to 100km/h, while the peak was at Mount Hotham with 124km/h.

Following Wednesday night’s weather, more than 1700 customers around Greater Shepparton were without power on Thursday morning.

A Powercor spokesperson said the outage was caused by a tree branch falling on a powerline with 256 customers affected in Mooroopna and 482 in Murchison.

Mr Dickson said Greater Shepparton could expect some cold winter weather over the next couple of days, with rainfall expected today ahead of some south-westerly winds over the weekend.

‘‘Although there is still a chance of a shower on Saturday and Sunday it’s just going to be a light sprinkle,’’ he said.