Winds over 120km/h wreck Corio properties

Andrew Mathieson
A “microburst” wind storm has damaged dozens of homes at Corio.
Gusts in excess of 120km/h ripped through part of the suburb near Purnell Road, tearing off roofs, smashing windows and blowing over trees.
Geelong Weather Services’ Lindsay Smail rejected descriptions of the weather as a mini-tornado, instead identifying it a microburst.
He said a cold front arrived around 10.30pm Tuesday after light rain began to evaporate, cooling the atmosphere and plunging wind downward to cause a localised column of sinking air.
The change forced the temperature to drop six degrees in less than five minutes.
State Emergency Service spokes-person Alan Sullivan said crews from Geelong, Werribee and Bellarine units worked through the night to repair the damage. About 35 volunteers secured damaged roofs by 6am Wednesday.
CJ Keane Corio real estate’s Terry Casey investigated damaged properties, including a two-storey dwelling at Hague Street, another on the corner of Norfolk Crescent and Purnell Road and multiple houses on Paley Drive and Princess Road.
“There’s quite a lot of tree damage, where trees have snapped and fallen on houses, and a lot of broken windows and missing antennas,” he said.
Four of Mr Casey’s nine calls to properties were “pretty bad”.
One tree had fallen onto a house and a structural engineer had to examine the damage before it could be removed.
A garage collapsed from the gusts, before spraying debris up to 200 metres throughout the neighbourhood.
Nearby resident Laura Anderson woke on Wednesday morning to find a piece of iron wrapped around a telephone pole.
“We were lucky no one was hurt because she came through like a freight train,” Ms Anderson said.
“The noise, you wouldn’t believe it, like a very loud roar.”
Ms Anderson said she saw sparks from overhead powerlines during the microburst.
The force of the wind also buckled a roller door off its track and bent a trampoline in half.
No one was injured.

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