WILD winds that toppled trees around the region claimed the life of a man who crashed his car at Mount Macedon late Wednesday night.
The man, aged in his 70s, died after driving into a tree that had fallen across a road near McBean Avenue about 10.25pm.
The crash came as strong wind gusts lashed central Victoria, causing traffic hazards and power outages.
Across the state 23,000 homes were without power yesterday.
Police, CFA and SES received more than 3000 call-outs around Victoria for building damage and trees blocking roads.
SES Bendigo volunteer Daniel Reader said there were 10 calls for assistance in Kangaroo Flat, Golden Square, Strathdale and Huntly.
But he said the region was spared the worst damage. “Bendigo got away with it pretty well,” he said.
“There were a few trees down on roads, trees down on buildings and a car. The rest were building damage and roofs and some minor damage with tiles blown off, it was lucky it wasn’t worse.”
A tree knocked down a power line in Mill Street, Kennington on Wednesday night, causing a temporary blackout to homes in nearby streets.
Mr Reader said residents in the region should be alert for more wind warnings but said the worst had likely passed.
Woodend police and Kyneton police said they had each received about 12 calls to trees down overnight Wednesday and yesterday.
Police are urging drivers to take extra care on the roads, keep a lookout for fallen debris and avoid parking under trees.