Farmer dies following ‘catastrophic’ storm in Victoria

Farmer dies following ‘catastrophic’ storm in Victoria
  • PublishedFebruary 14, 2024

A dairy farmer has died in Victoria’s Gippsland region after an extreme storm lashed parts of the state yesterday.

Premier Jacinta Allan confirmed the news in a press conference, saying the state experienced catastrophic weather.

“Sadly we have one fatality confirmed, a dairy farmer in Mirboo North who was killed in the storms that went through South Gippsland last night,” she told media.

“Our thoughts and support are with the family who lost a loved one.”

“Authorities predicted catastrophic weather and that’s exactly what we saw (yesterday).”

It’s believed the 50-year-old was killed by flying debris while working on a roof, police have said.

Parts of the state have been left stranded and powerless almost a day after catastrophic fires and severe thunderstorms rolled through.

The President of the Victorian Farmers Federation Emma Germano today extended her condolences to the farmer’s family while criticising the state government over a “complete lack of planning”.

“The impact on our industry and regional communities is immense and once again have been left to pick up the pieces,” Germano said.

“Victoria is still feeling the impact of one of our largest ever power blackouts and the complete lack of planning and resilience by the government is once against crippling our state.

“We must do better.”

‘Days if not weeks’ to fix some power outages

Power has been restored to thousands of homes across the state, however, 220,000 homes and businesses remain in the dark. 

The emergency management commissioner warned it could be up to a week for some people to get power back.

“It is possible… up to a week in some areas,” Nugent said.

“Our focus at the moment is getting access to there, clearing the roads and getting access to all of the critical infrastructure.”

Winds damaged these power lines near Geelong. (jacquifelgate.)
Victoria, Melbourne hit by extreme storms. 13.02.24 (Nine)

It comes as power transmission lines were destroyed by the “catastrophic winds”, near Geelong.

Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) chief executive Daniel Westerman addressed media today, saying the weather didn’t directly cause the loss of power.

He said it did however force the operators to reduce energy load to protect the grid’s security.

“We didn’t lose any customer supply because of that event,” he told media.

“So power from Victoria was coming from wind and solar and batteries and hydro, connected in with other transmission at the time,” Westerman said.

“So after the transmission event, that sent shock waves through the power system – ultimately, because of the downing of transmission lines – around 2,800 megawatts of generation went offline and about 1,000 megawatts of appliances disconnected.

“People would have noticed that their air conditioners switched off and light flickered.”

Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio also confirmed the loss of power but not an issue about an issue of energy supply.

“Yesterday was not about a lack of electricity supply,” she said.

“If I put it to you this way — if you’ve got a road infrastructure and a road collapses and you have a car full of petrol… and it’s got no road to travel on.

“It’s got its power, it’s got supply, but it can’t take it to where you want it to go.”


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