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Vic: More wild weather on the way for southern Victoria

Wed Aug 26 03:01:58 EST 2009
Tue Aug 25 17:01:58 UTC 2009

MELBOURNE, Aug 26 AAP - Coastal and highland regions of Victoria are in for another battering, with high winds and rain predicted for Wednesday afternoon.

A vigorous cold front swept across Victoria on Tuesday, bring wind gusts approaching 130km/h and heavy rain across much of the state.

A severe weather warning remains in force for southern Victoria, the alpine district and the north central and northeast districts for sustained winds averaging 60km/h and gusts up to 110km/h.

These winds will moderate through Wednesday morning but will re-intensify as a cold front crosses Bass Strait on Wednesday afternoon, Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Phil King said.

"Again wind gusts will reach 100 to 110km/h but mostly along the coast and the ranges. It won't be as widespread as it was (on Tuesday)," he told AAP.

Thursday and Friday will remain windy, but below gale strength, before another cold front crosses Victoria on Saturday, bringing severe winds and "useful" rain, Mr King said.

The State Emergency Service (SES) took more than 1,500 calls from assistance in the 24 hours to midnight (AEST) on Wednesday, state duty officer Jeff Cartwright said.

More than 800 of those calls came from the Melbourne metropolitan area.

The hardest hit SES units were at Eltham, Knox and Lilydale, in the city's east. The latter had 340 distress calls alone on Tuesday.

"We've been really fortunate, while we have had a lot of building damage but there hasn't been anything too serious," he told AAP.

"We haven't had to relocate any families and we have no reports of any serious injuries from trees coming down."

Gusts up to 128km/h hit Avalon airport, west of Melbourne, at 4.50pm (AEST).

Those eastern areas hit by high winds on Tuesday have copped a battering from a series of similar wind events throughout August, Mr Cartwright said.

"Some of our SES volunteers and the volunteers from the Country Fire Authority in those areas have been out for the past two or three weekends (clearing storm damage) and it's really taking its toll, so I'd like to thank them for their tremendous work," he said.