BOM issued a damaging winds warning early this morning for the southern parts of the state.

Thousands of homes in the Macedon Ranges and Mitchell shires are without power after 110km/h winds rattled central and southern parts of the state early this morning.

Almost 2500 Powercor customers in the Romsey area alone are without power, with hundreds more outages in Wallan and Lancefield reported by AusNet.

Powercor said on its website it estimated power would be restored in the Macedon Ranges by 2.30pm, though some customers in the Romsey area have received texts saying restoration at 5.30pm.

AusNet tweeted this morning that it was working to repair the network quickly.

“Strong winds are forecast to continue through the morning and the situation is still developing.”

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a warning at 4.38am of damaging westerly winds sweeping the state and reaching greater Melbourne after sunrise, extending to Gippsland coasts mid-morning.

Gusts of up to 143km/h have been recorded across the state, as well as more than 500,000 lightening strikes from last night’s thunder storm.

Trees and fallen branches have damaged cars and properties statewide, with buses replacing trains on at least three metropolitan train lines due to debris on tracks.

Schools have also been shut due to power outages. Romsey Primary School issued an announcement to parents this morning advising them that the school was without power.

“The school is still open but is without a phone line so if you need to contact the school for emergencies only you will need to ring the school mobile.

“We have no lights so it is dark, no heating so it is cold, no internet, no phones and no canteen for food!”

As of 9.00am, in the past 24 hours VICSES has received 1670 requests for assistance, with the number still climbing.

Triple Zero is receiving a high number of calls but it’s important to remember to please only call 000 if it is life threatening. If your request is relating to storm damage which is limiting access to your property, including trees down, please call Victoria State Emergency Service on 132 500.

More to come.

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