UPDATE 9pm: From fires to storms, it's been a busy day for the region's emergency services.
CFA regional agency commander Bill Johnstone said significant weather had brought with it a bit of everything.
“We’ve had a really busy day in the Loddon Mallee region,” he said from the Loddon Mallee regional control centre in Bendigo tonight.
First came the fires, most of which were started by lightning strikes. The biggest of which was at Mincha, north-west of Pyramid Hill, and burnt 700 acres.
One person suffered burns during the fire and about 30 sheep are receiving veterinary treatment.
“Now we are moving into a lot of storm damage,” Mr Johnstone said.
Thousands of homes remain without power, stretching from Mildura to Melbourne, with more than 11,500 customers affected in Bendigo.
Roofs have been dislodged and trees remain over roads as SES crews work to clean up the damage.
“There’s a lot of debris across roads creating traffic hazards,” Mr Johnstone said.
“Thankfully we’re looking at a bit of respite tonight.”
The Bureau of Meteorology expects the worst of it has past for Bendigo, but a severe weather warning remains in place.
Mr Johnstone urged people to exercise caution tonight and into tomorrow.
“What people need to be aware of tomorrow is any tree limbs that are hanging down and may have come loose, or power lines that are down,” he said.
“Assume every power line is live.”
UPDATE 8.45pm: Bendigo SES crews are responding to more than 50 callouts in the region following the storms.
Across the state, the State Emergency Service has received 750 requests for assistance, ranging from property damage to trees down.
About 105,000 homes have been affected by power outages, 11,500 of which are in Bendigo.
UPDATE 8.40pm: Bendigo has most likely seen the last of storms for this evening, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
Senior forecaster Dean Stewart said while there was still storm activity elsewhere in the state, it was not likely to affect us again.
"Most likely Bendigo has probably seen the last of the storm activity for the night," he said.
Wind gusts of 111km/h were recorded at the Bendigo Airport during the storm, but only 8mm of rain fell in the city.
While there has been no reports of hail, the temperature did drop suddenly, from 34 degrees before the storm to 19 degrees afterwards.
UPDATE 8.30pm: We are hearing reports of some great efforts of assistance. This from Emily Moyle, via Facebook:
“Thank you to our wonderful neighbours who were out in the tractor and moved the trees from our driveway in Longlea Lane.”
UPDATE 8pm: Thousands of people are without power across Bendigo and central Victoria. Read more here.
Meanwhile, the severe weather warning still remains in place.
UPDATE 7pm: The SES is responding to multiple callouts across the region.
Jane Anderson says more than 20 trees and large limbs have fallen between her boarding kennel and the Toolleen pub and the region is without power.
There are also reports of debris scattered across the highway between Marong and Bridgewater.
UPDATE 6.40pm: Fierce weather has struck across central Victoria, with strong winds, trees down, heavy rain and lightning.
The SES has warned residents to put cars away immediately.
Stacey Redwood reports via Facebook that it was unsafe for her to continue driving in Station Street.
“I was driving the back way to Huntly along Station Street and along a dirt road. The whole drive from Station Street there were fallen trees on roads, I wasn't far off being hit! I could feel my car being pushed along the road, bins flying, hay bails flying everywhere, dogs running from houses, basketball stands dragging on the ground. I had to stop at my sister in laws!’’
UPDATE 5.05pm: While Bendigo has yet to be impacted by the storm, areas surrounding the city are dealing with power outages and trees down.
If you need assistance, call the SES on 132 500 or triple-0 if it is life-threatening.
UPDATE 5pm: Emergency services are responding to dozens of fallen trees across roads from Goornong to Lancefield.
UPDATE 4.55pm: More than 2000 homes are without power as authorities investigate seven faults across central Victoria.
The faults are located in Newham, Glenhope, Baynton, Baringhup, Drummartin, Kyneton and Goornong.
Powercor is investigating and all power is hoped to be restored by 8.30pm.
For a full list of outages, visit https://www.powercor.com.au/power-outages/full-outage-list/
UPDATE 4.45pm: Power outages are also affecting homes in the Goornong area.
At fault located at Whatleys Road is under investigation and is affecting:
- Goornong: 100 homes
- Fosterville: 44 homes
- Muskerry: 37 homes
- Barnadown: 18 homes
- Axedale: 21 homes
- Toolleen: 9 homes
- Myola: 3 homes
It is estimated to be restored by 7pm.
UPDATE 4.30pm: Firefighters are at the scene of a tree fire near Turpins Falls.
Three tankers are on scene at Shillidays Road.
A number of trees are also reportedly down in the Barfold-Redesdale area, while hundreds are without power.
Power outages are affecting:
- Lancefield: 1191 homes
- Goldie: 104 homes
- Benloch: 62 homes
- Nulla Vale: 34 homes
- Sidonia: 19 homes
- Baynton: 28 homes
- Kyneton: 4 homes
- Rochford: 14 homes
- Pyalong: 326 homes
Powercor is investigating two faults – one at Bolgers Lane in Newham and a second at Fordes Lane in Kyneton – and is estimating power to be returned by 8.30pm.
CFA crews also remain at a grassfire on the McIvor Highway in Heathcote.
A spokesperson for the CFA said the fire was marked as safe.
EARLIER: Central Victorian residents are being warned thunderstorms are developing in a very unstable environment as a cold front crosses Victoria.
The entire region is being warned to expect severe thunderstorms, which are likely to produce damaging winds, heavy rainfall that may lead to flash-flooding and large hailstones over the next several hours.
Locations which may be affected include Mildura, Bendigo, Seymour, Maryborough, Ballarat, Geelong, Melbourne and Traralgon.
It comes as firefighters have been called out a number of fires in the region since 1pm.
Crews are currently responding to a fire at Heathcote and remain on scene at a second near Birchip.
A camp fire is believed to have started another fire at Huntly on the Bendigo Creek.
Today has been declared a day of total fire ban for much of the northern half of the state, including Bendigo.
A second weather warning remains in place for damaging winds for areas south of Bendigo, including Kyneton and Daylesford.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
- Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
- Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
- Keep clear of fallen power lines.
- Stay indoors if possible.
- Avoid using the phone during the storm.
- If you are outside, avoid sheltering under trees
- Listen to the radio for storm updates
- Switch off your computer and electrical appliances