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Savage storm leaving days of disruption


The storm looked innocent enough as it approached Trafalgar from the West just after 4pm on February 12, but it left massive chaos and destruction in its wake. Two days later and the town of Traf was largely without power or communications as were Yarragon and Moe. All around the town nature strips were covered in branches as scores of trees have been destroyed. Residents spent the following twenty-four hours with chainsaws cleaning up the mess. A spokesperson from the Bureau of Meteorology said the atmospheric environment on Tuesday produced the severe thunderstorms over West, South and East Gippsland. Mirboo North may have been hardest hit. A dairy farmer near Mirboo North was killed when debris struck him and several of his cows. Many homes were completely or partially destroyed. Mirboo North resident Andy McCarthy considers himself lucky as he watched bulldozers demolish his neighbour’s house only metres away from his own. “Fifteen or 20 of my friends have either lost their house completely or lost their whole roof, or part of their house has caved in,” Mr McCarthy said. Further south, Yarram saw wind gusts reach 126 kilometres per hour, destroying buildings while a short-sharp blast at Warragul and in the Strzelecki hills received gusts of 90km/h mark. All four units at AGL’s Loy Yang A power station in the Latrobe Valley were offline at one point and it is believed two transmission towers physically collapsed. STORM SHOWS CASH IS KING. Two days after the storm your correspondent went to work early only to find the power was off and headed to BK’s for a coffee. In a ten minute period we watched as four tradies come in for their coffee and takeaway only to leave empty handed because they had no cash and the electronic payment system was out. Some ventured next door to the bank but found the eftpos machine also down. They left empty handed.