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Current emergencies

Read this page to find out more about current emergencies including flood in Mount Alexander Shire.

Latest community information about recent storm

12.00noon – 21 December 2017

Please see latest newsletter for community members affected by the severe weather on Tuesday 19 December 2017. Read the newsletter for support and important information on relief and recovering from the impacts of severe weather.

Community information – 10.00am 21 December 2017

This message was issued by State Emergency Service via VicEmergency. The next update is expected by 21 December 2017 at 6.00pm or as the situation changes.

Council update

Council is continuing to work closely with the SES and other agencies to manage the impact of the storm that hit the shire on the 19 December.

We hope everyone is safe. Our crews have been out clearing roads and will continue the cleanup.

We have received many reports of fallen trees, as well as major damage to several dwellings and sheds in Mount Alexander Shire.

The most affected townships were Taradale, Elphinstone, Harcourt, Barfold, Walmer, Metcalfe and Redesdale. Taradale appears to be the hardest hit.

If your local road is blocked please contact Council on 5471 1700. Our works unit is working around the clock to ensure safe access to roads and properties as a priority. We are doing our best but it may take a few weeks to respond to all reports.

The SES advises residents, tourists and businesses to:
• Keep watch for lightning, lightning can start bushfires or grassfires. Maintain awareness of the impact of lightning on your property and your local area. If you find a fire call triple zero (000) immediately.
• Listen to your local emergency broadcaster radio station for the latest weather warnings and emergency advice
• Stay clear of fallen powerlines and damaged solar panels, always assume they are ‘alive’ and deadly.

Council, SES and CFA crews have attended to most of the reported trees down and building damage and may continue with this work today. If you have not reported trees restricting access to your property or home, contact SES on 132 500.

Residents who have sustained significant damage to their home can contact Council’s Municipal Recovery Manager on 0417 640 727 to discuss support options available.

Read our latest media release about the clean up and assistance provided after the storm, including tips from the CFA on managing piles of debris during the clean up.

Free green waste disposal

Council is offering free green waste disposal for storm debris at Castlemaine and Maldon Waste Facilities until the end of January.

We are also making arrangements to provide a central collection point for green and woody debris in the Taradale area which was the hardest hit. It is likely the collection point will be open in early February with more information to come in the New Year.

See our waste facilities page for conditions.

Key contacts

• For life threatening emergencies phone Triple Zero (000).
• To clear fallen trees and branches phone SES on 132 500.
• Mount Alexander residents who cannot stay in their home, cannot stay with family or friends and require emergency accommodation should call Council on 0417 640 727.
• To report trees down on local roads phone Council on 5471 1700.

Hanging branches pose a serious safety risk. Report any dangerous limbs or hanging trees to Council on 5471 1700.

Mental health support:
• Lifeline go to www.lifeline.org.au or phone 13 11 14.
• Beyond Blue go to www.beyondblue.org.au or phone 1300 224 636.
• Kids Helpline go to www.kidshelpline.com.au or phone 1800 551 800.
• SANE Australia go to www.sane.org or phone 1800 187 263.
• 1800 Respect offers domestic family violence and sexual assault counselling service that provides information and support 24/7. Contact them at www.1800respect.org.au or call 1800 737 732.
• MensLine offers telephone and online counselling service for men with family and relationship concerns. Contact them at https://mensline.org.au/ or call 1300 78 99 78.

Financial support:
Financial support is available to help Victorians who are displaced by an emergency. To find out if you are eligible, contact Council during business hours on 0417 640 727.

Protect your health:

• Keep clear of damaged buildings, power lines and trees.
• When cleaning up, wear strong boots, gloves and protective clothing, and wash your hands and clothes regularly.

• Food safety is important during power outages. Once cold or frozen food is no longer cold to touch, it can be kept and eaten for up to four hours and then it must be thrown away.
• Do not use a portable generator indoors. Generators can produce carbon monoxide gas that is invisible and has no smell. If it builds up in the home, it cause sudden illness, loss of consciousness and death.
• Be aware of road hazards such as mud, debris and damaged roads or bridges.
• Drive slowly and obey all road signs.
• For more information on road closures go to the VicRoads website traffic.vicroads.vic.gov.au or phone 131 170.

Essential services:
Power has been restored to the majority of households in the shire. A small number of community members may still be without power throughout today. Restoration may take longer than usual due to the extent of the damage.

Powercor aims to keep restoration times up to date, however these may change as crews attend jobs and assess damage. Powercor will continue to update customers on restoration times via SMS and on their website at www.powercor.com.au. You can also phone 13 24 12 for an update.

The Department of Health and Human Services is working with energy providers to ensure those customers dependent on power are being checked on.

Stay informed

• Go to www.emergency.vic.gov.au.
• Listen to ABC Local Radio, commercial and designated community radio stations, or Sky News TV.
• Phone the VicEmergency Hotline to talk to someone about this newsletter on 1800 226 226 (freecall).
• People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who have a speech/communication impairment can contact VicEmergency Hotline via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677.
• For help with English, phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 (freecall) and ask them to telephone VicEmergency Hotline. If you know someone who cannot speak English, provide them with this number.
• Download the VicEmergency app or follow VicEmergency on Twitter (#vicstorms) or Facebook.
• Latest weather information - www.bom.gov.au.
Information on power outages.

For more about storm safety, how to get ready and know what to do, visit www.ses.vic.gov.au/stormsafe.

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