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OZ: Tasmania’s power back on after ‘wild’ storm

Power is being restored to houses in Tasmania after wind gusts cut services in a number of regions across the state following a day and night of wild weather.

Police said road closures and tree damage were kept to a minimum, but wind gusts generally of up to 100kph wreaked havoc with the electricity network.

At one stage yesterday, 10,000 Tasmanian homes and businesses were without power.

In the Hobart suburb of Moonah, the SES was called to a home that had its roof blown off.

TasNetworks spokesperson Angela Turner said more than 200 customers were at one point without power.

Strong wind gusts were recorded around the state, including some reaching 159kph on Hobart’s Mount Wellington.

The weather bureau said that was the strongest gust ever recorded on the mountain in the month of May.

The wild weather also saw the first snow of the season fall on Hobart’s Mount Wellington.

SES northern regional manager Mhairi Revie said livestock should be moved to higher ground.

“Land owners who own livestock need to get their animals up to higher ground, and we just want to make sure that those farmers are well aware that those rivers are in minor flood, and it’s good to make some precautions to keep your animals safe,” she said.

AgFest forced to evacuate site

Exhibitors setting up for Tasmania’s three-day agricultural fair, AgFest, were ordered off the site, near Launceston, after winds forced an unprecedented evacuation.

Organiser Amanda Bayles said the site was evacuated about 4pm yesterday, when strong wings sparked safety concerns.

“Bark was coming off trees and the wind was getting up that high that we made the call,” she said.

But Ms Bayles said damage was minimal and because conditions had eased overnight people were back on site today.

“There was a few smaller marquees that have a small amount of damage,” she said.

She said those exhibitors were informed of the damage last night and will return to the site today to fix them.

“The roads are looking really good. The wind had done one thing for us and dried them out, and it’s a sun-shining, nice blue sky at the moment.”

– Weatherzone/ABC


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