Gippsland residents still powerless to get the lights back on six days after storm

More than 2,200 Gippsland homes have entered day six with no electricity but communities are finding new ways to wait out the time until electricity is reconnected. 

Key points:About 2,200 Gippsland homes remain without power since last Friday's wild windsOne Longford family has been bathing their toddlers under sprinklersThe community rallied to save Seaspray General Store's opening weekend

Thousands of powerlines and trees were downed by destructive winds last week, leaving about 28,000 thousand Gippsland homes in the dark. 

Across the state, more than 100,000 homes and businesses spent a cold night without power after the severe storms.

Karen Winsbury, head of communications for AusNet Services, says 300 people are in the field today to restore electricity. 

"What we're finding is there's a lot of single lines down, that affect small numbers of people, so we're just getting through that one-by-one," she said. 

Sprinkler baths for toddlers

Cindy Madeley from Longford, near Sale in Victoria's east, said her family of four were still without power. 

"We're really fortunate we already had one generator and bought another couple over the weekend," she said. 

She said the generators had been enough to get water and fridges running again.

"We've managed to still bath the kids, it takes about an hour-and-a-half to boil the water to bath the kids, so yesterday we just chucked them under the sprinklers," she said. 

But she said she was concerned no one from the power provider had been in touch.

"They keep changing the times of when things will come back on, but no one has reached out to us, no one has done a welfare check," she said. 

"After all the isolation of the last 18 months, we feel even more so now."  

Beach town rallies around new store

As Melbourne residents, allowed out into regional Victoria for the first time in months, flocked to the countryside, Seaspray's newly revamped general store was getting ready to welcome them. 


But Friday's winds left the store without power, disrupting long weekend plans in the coastal town. 

Store owner Fiona Lawrence said they lost about $6,000 worth of stock between Friday and Saturday, when a local loaned them a generator. 

"Rowena from Seapray got her father's generator and set it up in the backyard, that got us going again to keep the ice cool for the town, and for the freezer, so we could keep cooking and feeding everyone," she said. 

Ms Lawrence said the local community and tourists pulled together to salvage the weekend. 

"We had a whole lot of pixies who kept coming out throughout the whole weekend, and they were filling up the generator with petrol," she said. 

"It was so amazing to see everyone just band together."

Posted 3 Nov 20213 Nov 2021Wed 3 Nov 2021 at 12:45am, updated 3 Nov 20213 Nov 2021Wed 3 Nov 2021 at 2:28amShareCopy linkFacebookTwitterArticle share optionsShare this onFacebookTwitterLinkedInSend this byEmailMessengerCopy linkWhatsApp


Related Posts