Heathcote cops brunt of storm

By Alex Gretgrix

HEATHCOTE and surrounding towns copped the brunt of a storm that hit the region late last Thursday evening.

High winds, severe thunderstorms and heavy rain and hail caused damage around the area, making for one wild night.

Emergency services were kept busy during the evening and the following day as they were called out to 19 incidents in total.

“We had about 10 call-outs during the night and they just continued even after the storm,” Heathcote SES volunteer Mel Thompson said.

“The unit had our training session on Thursday night and we couldn't hear ourselves think through the heavy rain and the storm.

“The call-outs probably started about 8 pm and we finished up at 12.30 am before we received more in the morning.”

The unit helped people with flooded or damaged buildings and worked to get fallen trees off major roads.

Homes around the area lost power from around 8.30 pm until 2 am, but the SES tried to get through all call-outs as quickly as possible even during that time.

“Someone said we recorded over 50mm (of rain) in half an hour, it was crazy,” Mel said.

But the SES is asking people to be patient during storms such as these.

“We really try our best to get to as many call-outs as we can,” Mel said.

“It's our priority to keep people safe and because we do cover a large area, we just ask people to stay calm and be patient as we get through every incident we go to.

“We also encourage people to be prepared where possible. Whether it's keeping gutters clean or having towels handy to put under doors, it all helps.”

If you are in need of assistance, you can reach the SES on 132 500.