Melbourne weather: Storm lashes city as Victoria endures blackout

Melbourne has been smashed with damaging winds and torrential rain on Tuesday afternoon, as over 500,000 Victorians suffered through a blackout.

Incredible footage from around the city has made its way online this afternoon, with videos showing trees being blown sideways and ominous green clouds filling the sky.

One video showed a tree that had completely uprooted and broke surrounding bricks on a footpath.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning notice that has now been rescinded.

“The immediate threat of severe thunderstorms has passed, but the situation will continue to be monitored,” the Bureau said in a statement.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should stay away from fallen powerlines and to always assume they are live and avoiding dangerous hazards like floodwater, mud, debris, damaged roads and fallen trees.

A more general severe thunderstorm warning remains current for the West and South Gippsland and parts of the Central, Mallee, Northern Country, North Central and North East districts.

It comes as all four units at AGL Energy’s Loy Yang A power station shut down, with winds bringing down several power lines.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) described the outage that happened about 2pm on Tuesday as “a significant power system event”.

“The Moorabool to Sydenham 500 kilovolt transmission lines tripped, multiple generators disconnected from the grid and some consumers experienced a loss of electricity supply,” the operator said.

AEMO directed AusNet Services to enact load shedding – cutting power – “to keep the power system secure.”

Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio posted on X that the situation was ‘dynamic’.

“The number of power outages caused by the physical collapse of transmission towers has increased to 500,000,” she posted.

“AEMO is working hard to restore power.”

Shortly after 5pm, she posted that one unit at Loy Yang A power station had come back online.

“As a result forced load shedding is no longer required to maintain grid stability,” she said.

The minister said wild weather had also had an impact on power supply.

She earlier tweeted that she had met with the CEO of AEMO “about the current unprecedented impact of extreme weather on our power grid” on Tuesday afternoon.

“There are currently outages affecting around 300,000 customers across the state. This is due to the physical collapse of some transmission lines caused by the severe weather,” she said.

“This a very dynamic situation, so I will provide updates as the situation evolves and timelines for restoration of power become clear.

“AEMO and the operators of the transmission lines and generators are working closely with us.”

Originally published as Wild footage as storms smash Melbourne