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The Windy City Strikes Again

Damaging winds hit Melbourne again

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This car got a rude shock in the early hours

Like a pinch and a punch for the first of the month, Melbourne welcomed October by being hit with wind, wind and more wind!

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Many large trees crashed down onto roads

Just after 11.30pm last night (30/09/2013) the Chelsea SES pagers began to play their songs that mean goodbye to shut eye for a while. The strong winds that had been forecast had come to fruition and the Chelsea Operational Area was being hit hard. Reports of trees down blocking roads came in from Parkdale to Carrum and all points in between. In Chelsea Heights, a large branch broke away, crashing down on 2 cars in a neighbour’s residence causing significant damage.

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One of 2 cars damaged in Chelsea Heights

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This branch took out the fence as well as the gas meter

As the night wore on, it quickly became apparent that there were going to be large numbers of trees down and so began the task of prioritising the jobs with trees blocking roads taking priority over anything else.

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Starting to uncover the car

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Chainsaws ready and the crushed car begins to emerge from the trees

Chelsea itself was very hard hit with many massive trees coming down including Tarella Road, Randall Avenue, Royal Ave, Argyle Avenue and Broadway. Nepean Highway also had problems with trees blocking lanes at Bonbeach, Chelsea and Parkdale.

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Checking out the damage

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Not looking good!

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The second car faired a little better

As if downed trees was not enough of an obstacle course for local drivers, it was bin night across the Chelsea area and so all of the bins that had been so neatly placed on nature strips were soon strewn over roads and footpaths and their contents, mixed with small branches, to create a mass of potential missiles, add to this the local hard rubbish collection which soon became the hard rubbish retrieval exercise and you had the recipe for the perfect storm.

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Yet another huge tree blocking Argyle Avenue in Chelsea

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Plenty of work for the chainsaws tonight

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This pair of trees fell in unison in Aspendale Gardens

As daylight approached, crews were bracing for the barrage of calls for assistance that they knew would come as people woke up to find the damage that had been inflicted to their homes as they slept.

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Tarella Road in Chelsea was closed after this massive branch came down

Chelsea members were on the road from 11.30pm on the 30th and were still responding to requests for assistance as the morning went on. You do sometimes have to wonder at peoples actions, at the tree job in Tarella Road, one member saw a car drive up onto the footpath, along the footpath to go around the tree and then back onto the roadway. When asked if she thought that was a good plan, she replied that she was late for work and drove away, it’s a worry!

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Daybreak sadly saw no breaks for the Chelsea volunteers

(Thanks to Tim for the picture)

All through Tuesday & Wednesday  (1 & 2/10/2013) Chelsea members dealt with a steady stream of calls for assistance with trees down being a firm favourite followed closely by building damage jobs, many of which entailed replacing tiles on roofs. As this major weather event comes to a conclusion, for now, the team at Chelsea have dealt with more than 180 calls for assistance since 11.30 on Monday night, with all jobs finished by Thursday (3/10/2013).

The official SES website reported that the wind gusts that hit the area on Monday night were comparable to a Catergory 1 Cyclone. Chelsea was just one of more than 60 SES units across the State who  have responded to more than 3,600 calls for help. 

Last Updated (Thursday, 03 October 2013 08:23)

 
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