Victorians hit by damaging storms are facing a fresh blow, with 3000 residents of the Dandenong Ranges told they could be without power for the next three weeks.
Energy provider AusNet said nine suburbs including Ferny Creek, Kalorama, Mount Dandenong, Olinda, Sassafras, Sherbrooke, The Basin, Tremont and Upwey may be waiting for electricity until July 10.
The news comes after residents in Kallista, Sherbrooke and The Patch were yesterday told by Yarra Valley Water they could not drink tap water.
AusNet made the announcement about the ongoing power outage via social media.
“The initial estimates provided to customers were wrong,” the post said.
“We are deeply sorry.
“We now understand the extent of the damage and scale fo the recovery and repair ahead.”
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud told Today this morning the Federal Government has offered ADF support to the battered regions, with five planners set to assist on the ground today in the Dandenong Ranges and Traralgon.
Further assistance from defence personnel was also available. However, the Victorian Government has not requested any additional support.
“They’re there, ready to stand up and get moving, but we wait on that request from the Victorian Government, who are the lead agency in this,” Mr Littleproud said.
Kallista local Lee Burgess said the emergency response in the Dandenongs had been handled poorly.
“Our first responders, the local SES, the local police are just phenomenal, but it’s hard to see a coordinated response at the moment,” he said.
“We’re just not hearing it, or seeing it.”
Kallista Deli and Cafe owner Richard Harrop said the storm disaster was just another blow to local businesses already hard-hit by lockdowns.
“Our industry has suffered enough over the last 18 months with so many lockdowns,” he told Today.
“Now we have a situation where we will be without power for another three weeks or potentially longer.
“We need the government now to put something in place to bring people back to this area.”
Yesterday, Acting Premier James Merlino, who lives in the Dandenongs, said 10,000 people were still without power more than a week after the storms hit.
The clean-up from the deluge is still underway with warnings still in place for falling trees.
“When I was talking to the State Emergency Service chief officer the other day, he described it as ‘tree carnage’ – that is exactly what it is,” Mr Merlino said.
More than 6000 requests for help had been made in the last week in the Dandenong North and Yarra Ranges alone.