Warrnambool SES volunteers were called to a record number of jobs on Friday as powerful storms rolled through the region, leaving a trail of damage.
Wild wind gusts reached speeds of 109kmh in Port Fairy and 106kmh in Warrnambool, ripping roofs from homes, sending trampolines over fences and bringing down power lines.
SES confirmed its Warrnambool unit was the busiest in the state with more than 200 jobs received by volunteers in the 24 hours to 3pm on Friday, September 8.
Warrnambool SES deputy controller Bernadette Northeast and controller Andrew Miles, who have about 50 years of combined experience with the service, said it was the largest number of call-outs for a single weather event in history.
Ms Northeast said the volume of calls likely doubled the unit's previous record, with no one able to recall more than 100 jobs in a single storm.
Speaking to The Standard about 4pm Friday, Ms Northeast said there were still about 115 jobs outstanding, although all had been triaged.
She said volunteers were expected to work until nightfall.
Units were unable to attend to roof damage for most of the day on Friday due to dangerous winds but worked to clear the trail of damage left behind by the storm.
Ms Northeast said a priority in the morning was clearing fallen trees and large pieces of roofing iron.
"As we were attending, we still had really high winds so there were quite a lot of dangerous tasks where uncontrolled iron was flapping around and had to be completed fairly quickly," she said.
"We also had a couple of trampolines that have gone quite a long way from their location."
Ms Northeast said there were a lot of flying branches and debris and if the region had more rain, there could still be more damage.
She said about 50 jobs involved tile or roof damage to homes.
There were 15 Warrnambool SES unit volunteers operating throughout Friday with others tasked to work overnight and on Saturday morning.
"We also had support from Camperdown, Dunkeld and Hamilton units," Ms Northeast said.
"They bought an additional 10 members. Fire Rescue Victoria had 12 staff out and we also had CFA send out a couple of trucks to support early in the morning.
"There's been a lot of power lines over roads so police have also been really flat out controlling roads that otherwise would be a hazard."
A SES spokesman said the south-west region received more call-outs than anywhere else in the state on Friday.
"The busiest units were Warrnambool, with 237 incidents, head and shoulders above the second which was Portland with 75 and further down Port Fairy with 57," he said.
He said there was significant impact to buildings, with 389 calls to damage across the state, of which 294 were in the Barwon-South West region.
The SES spokesman said 1082 jobs were received across the state in 24 hours, with 814 cleared by 3pm.
Traffic lights were out of action around Warrnambool for most of the morning while more than 20,000 homes and businesses across the south-west region had no power.
Warrnambool's Gateway Plaza, the Target Complex and the Magistrates Court were all affected by the outages.
While some customers were without power for about 10 hours, a Powercor spokesman said electricity to others was restored quickly.
"We progressively got customers back on but as the wind kept blowing, new faults have occurred," he said
He said additional crews were sent to the south-west, which was the hardest hit across the state.
The spokesman said there were still 80 jobs for power lines down across the south-west at 4pm Friday, and urged people to "keep well clear".
Gale force winds flattened the vintage Roosters Bar at Friendly Societies' Park and ripped the roof off Dennington business Warrnambool Automotive Brake and Suspension.
South-west SES volunteers are still attending outstanding jobs and anyone with concerns should call 132 500.
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