A SEVERE storm brought down dozens of trees and power lines in the south-west last night, leaving hundreds without power.
Hamilton police said trees dragged down two power lines in Cavendish, north of Hamilton, while Portland police said a power line had also collapsed in Casterton.
A Powercor spokesman said about 265 customers in Cavendish were without power from 6.13pm.
A Victorian SES spokeswoman said there 27 callouts in the south-west up to about 7.30pm last night.
Hamilton and Balmoral each had seven incidents and all but three of 27 callouts were for fallen trees that posed a traffic hazard.
Three of the callouts were for damage to buildings.
Two of those incidents were in Hamilton and one in Dunkeld.
Hamilton SES unit controller Peter Neaves said the unit had a flurry of activity involving nine volunteers between 6pm and 8pm.
He said the two incidents of building damage were for roofs.
Warrnambool appeared to escape the brunt of the storm, with no emergency callouts.
The storm damage in the south-west was also relatively minor compared to elsewhere in Victoria, where the storm inflicted more havoc.
The SES had 1600 callouts in Melbourne yesterday and about 52,000 properties across the state were without power last night.
A Bureau of Meteorology spokeswoman said the south-west did record Victoria’s strongest wind gust yesterday of 137 kilometres an hour, recorded at Mount William in the Grampians.
Speaking at about 7.30pm, the spokeswoman said gusts of more than 100km/h were widespread throughout Victoria and high winds were expected to return later last night.
The strongest gust recorded at Warrnambool airport up until 7.30pm yesterday was 72km/h while Hamilton recorded 84km/h and Casterton 96km/h.
Warrnambool had only received about seven millimetres of rainfall up until 7.30pm yesterday, however, heavy rain continued to pound the city throughout the night.
The bureau spokeswoman said the strong winds should moderate today but pick up again tonight when another change is expected to arrive.
More thunderstorms are forecast for late tonight and into early Friday.
Warrnambool SES deputy controller Bernadette Northeast advised people to avoid unnecessary travel, especially through forest areas.