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Blackouts continue after storm hits parts of Canberra | The Canberra Times

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The ACT Emergency Services Agency says it received nearly 800 callouts for help following Monday night’s severe thunderstorm. “Crews are working hard to attend to jobs as quickly as possible,” ESA said. “More unsettled weather is predicted at the end of the week. Now is the time to prepare your home and family for a storm.” Power has been restored to Cook, Scullin, Macquarie, Belconnen, Evatt, Florey, McKellar, Melba and Spence, energy provider EvoEnergy has confirmed. However, there are still about 3000 customers in Belconnen and Gungahlin without power. EvoEnergy doesn’t expect power to be restored on Tuesday to those customers. EvoEnergy said it understood being without power was “distressing” and advised affected Canberrans to stay with friends or family if possible. “If you can, stay with family and friends … Thanks for your patience while we work through the large volume of reports to understand the full impact of the storm,” it said on social media. “We know the prospect of more time without power may be distressing, but we want to assure [Canberrans] we are doing all we can to work as quickly and safely as possible.” The Holt COVID-19 testing clinic was closed today due to the power outage from Monday’s storm. However, staff have been redeployed to the Nicholls testing centre. On Twitter, ACT Health urged people to visit another clinic. “We apologise for the inconvenience,” it said. Long wait times at testing clinics are expected after New Year’s festivities. Canberrans are still counting the costs after severe hail, wind and rain hit Canberra on Monday evening. People reported trees falling on homes, damaged power lines, localised flooding and water damage. EvoEnergy cancelled all other work for Tuesday with crews focusing on restoring outages for the day. “We are prioritising the most critically damaged infrastructure,” the spokesperson said. “We are looking to get power on as soon as we can, it’s all hands on deck.” EvoEnergy said during an average storm branches would come down and damage powerlines, however on Monday evening whole trees had fallen. “There is more severe damage than what we would usually expect,” they said. At the height of the storm about 16,029 customers experienced outages on Monday night. Like many people across the region, Holt resident Gerry Satrapa pulled out his phone to take a video of the weather. That’s when disaster struck. “I was recording, and suddenly the tree in front of us, in front of the house, just snapped and fell across our front yard and hit the house. It was pretty intense,” he said. “The tree fell across my partner’s car and just the very top it caught the house and smashed through the roof tiles. And then of course rain and hail got into the roof cavity.” Mr Satrapa said he was originally planning to take his children kayaking on the lake when he watched the storm come in. “I was watching that weather come in and just thinking ‘Should I go?’ and I’m really glad I didn’t. We watched the wind turn around and come back this way,” he said. “As soon as the tree [started] tilting towards the house, I went ‘Oh, that’s no good’ and within about 20 seconds it came down. “It was absolutely wild and very blustery.” The SES soon arrived and spent about two hours shoring up the roof and ensuring the area was safe. However shortly after SES crews left, the roof in the lounge room collapsed from the weight of the water. “The house is fine, it’s just the lounge room, it’s pretty crazy,” Mr Satrapa said. With power still not returned to the house and an unusable lounge room the family has some work ahead of them. The Holt resident said he would spend the next few days cleaning up the aftermath of the storm and would ensure repairs were conducted as soon as possible. The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) recorded wind gusts of up to 46km/h at Canberra Airport on Monday about 5pm. BoM duty forecaster Morgan Pumpa said an inland trough had gone over the Canberra region on Monday evening causing hail storms and rain. “Overnight, there were reports of hail around two centimeters [in diameter] but it was not as wet as the night before,” she said. She said 22 millimeters was recorded at Tuggeranong. Ms Pumpa said the inland trough combined with a high pressure system expected in the coming days would bring more wet weather later in the week. IN OTHER NEWS: Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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