A number of Victorian schools have had to postpone Year 12 exams scheduled for Friday after wild weather lashed the state.
At least 150,000 homes and buildings have been left without power after damaging winds up to 143km/h wreaked havoc across southern Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne.
Cabinet Minister Danny Pearson confirmed on Friday morning storm damage and power outage had left a small number of schools unable to hold their VCE exams.
“I have been advised that in a small number of cases exams had to be postponed and the (education) department will be working with those individual schools over the coming days to deal with that accordingly and to provide the necessary support that’s required for those students to sit their VCE exams,” Mr Pearson told reporters.
Camera IconThis car came off second best when it was hit by a falling tree in Mount Eliza. NCA NewsWire / David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia
He said at some other schools, where power was interrupted, “natural sunlight enabled the exams to occur”.
State Emergency Service volunteers have been called to almost 2000 jobs for trees down and building damage in the past 24 hours.
“It’s carnage out there. Stay safe, and avoid road travel if possible,” Victoria SES said.
“If you must travel, stay alert for fallen trees and debris, and drive to conditions.
“As our volunteers continue to respond to a huge amount of requests for assistance, we thank you for your patience.”
Camera IconSophia Milne of Mount Eliza with a large pine tree that came down in her street. NCA NewsWire / David Crosling Credit: News Corp AustraliaCamera IconA fallen tree from Melbourne Grammar into Domain St. NCA NewsWire / Daniel Pockett Credit: News Corp Australia
More than 30 Covid testing sites and six vaccination clinics were also forced to close across Victoria due to the wild weather.
Chief health officer Brett Sutton said the sites had been temporarily closed and urged people to check the health department’s website before venturing out.
“We’ll be contacting people who’ve got a vaccination schedule that has to be deferred for a little bit longer,” he said.
“We’re obviously working very hard to get those sites back online as soon as possible. But we do appreciate your patience as we do that.”
Camera IconA large pine tree took out a garage in Wimbledon Ave in Mount Eliza. NCA NewsWire / David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia
He said some of the sites closed included the Cranbourne Turf Club, Sandown drive through clinic, Frankston Bayside Peninsula Health clinic, Melbourne Showgrounds, and the drive thru components at both Melton and Wyndham Eagle Stadium.
A severe weather warning remains in place for damaging winds in southern and eastern Victoria.
The weather bureau said winds were expected to ease in the vicinity of the Surf Coast by midday, then continue to contract from the north and west to the Gippsland coast by later Friday afternoon.
The strongest gust in Melbourne was at Frankston Beach, which was hit by 122km/h winds at 7.56am.
Melbourne Airport recorded a gust of 119km/h, while St Kilda recorded 115km/h, Essendon Airport 107km/h and Laverton 102km/h.
Mt William in the Grampians recorded the strongest gust of 143km/h, which South Channel Island was hit by 135km/h gust.