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‘Mini-tornado’ destroys homes as wild hail, winds and rain lash cities

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

At least four homes are uninhabitable and up to 30 others have been damaged in severe storms which lashed western Victoria overnight.

Four homes are uninhabitable and up to 60 others have been severely damaged by storms that lashed western Victoria overnight.

The hardest hit areas were Waurn Ponds and Mount Duneed west of Geelong, where the State Emergency Service (SES) received 115 calls for help.

Of those, four homes were deemed uninhabitable and the residents needed relocating.

Another 40 to 60 homes have been significantly damaged, with more than 100 roofs to still be temporarily repaired by SES crews. Drones were helping to identify property damage.

The SES received 242 requests for help across the state.

Bureau of Meteorology State Manager Andrew Tupper said the severe storm was localised to the state's west, intensifying about 1.15am as it reached Geelong.

"A strong cold front moved across Victoria and as it moved across, a line of thunderstorms developed with it," he said.

"Some of those thunderstorms became severe. With those storms, there was a very impressive lightening show and the wind.

"Damage was caused by wind coming down from the storms."

Video shows fences knocked down, roofs obliterated, significant structural damage to houses and windows shattered, with debris scattering gardens mimicking that of a disaster-zone.

Ferocious winds also swept tiles off roofs, ripped garage doors from their walls and flew trampolines across yards and rubbish bins onto roofs.

Resident Simon Aitken told 9News he was getting ready to sell his house when the destruction struck.

"It actually sounded like a jet engine just on top of the roof," he said.

Ballarat also recorded wind gusts of 98km/h and Falls Creek had gusts of 135km/h about 8am this morning.

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An elderly couple from Mount Rowan in Ballarat's north was lucky to escape unharmed after their shed roof ripped off and landed on top of their house. 

The couple in their 70s and 80s woke to the wind howling outside, not realising the roof had landed within metres of their bedroom.

"It was roaring like a freight train," they told 9News.

Initially, they thought they just had a water leak. 

"It just came through and within 15 minutes it was gone". 

It wasn't until morning that they saw the extent of the damage. 

A tree was also ripped out of the ground, landing on their powerlines. 

The damage bill at their property alone is expected to leap into the tens of thousands of dollars. 

The highest amount of rain was recorded in Mount Buller at 37mm, followed by Springvale at 26mm and 25mm in Warrnambool.

Mr Tupper said weather analysis teams were evaluating exactly what occurred overnight after people claimed a 'mini-tornado' hit the region.

"With severe storms you can get tornadoes," he said.

"We've got severe weather specialists looking at those severe damage patterns."

Volunteers have spent Wear Orange Wednesday, the day of thanks for the SES, assessing the damage.

Another cold front is expected to sweep across the state tonight, but no further storms are expected.

Temperatures are expected to drop to a low of 10 degrees overnight.

A second cold front is expected to hit parts of South Australia today following a night of hail, rain and strong winds.

Dangerous storms lashed Adelaide on Tuesday night when a cold front rolled through, bringing damaging winds and heavy rains to much of the city.

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A home in Angaston, in the Barossa Valley, sustained major damage when it was struck by lightning, which then caused a fire, just before 7pm.

More hail is expected later today with Adelaide headed for a windy 16 degrees with rain likely for the rest of the week.

The cold and wintery weather is due to two cold fronts which are likely to move across to NSW, the ACT and Queensland in the coming days.

In NSW, rainfall will be heaviest on Thursday as the first front moves toward the east coast and decays, forming more of a trough today and bringing more unsettled weather to the eastern portions of the state.

- With AAP reporting

Source: 9News

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