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Victoria weather: Wild winds whip up dust, bring down trees in Melbourne

Wed 14 Feb 2018

A haze descended on parts of Melbourne as strong winds whipped up dust and downed trees, causing power outages, building damage and public transport delays.

A strong cold front moved across Victoria today, with damaging winds averaging 50 to 60 kilometres per hour.

Gusts of 109kph were recorded at St Kilda and 91kph at Essendon, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said.

There were major delays on a number of suburban train an tram lines after trees fell onto tracks and powerlines.

Trains were suspended on the Hurstbridge and South Morang lines because of fallen tree branches.



Power has been restored to more than 38,000 customers because of damage from fallen trees.

The SES said it had received more than 600 calls for assistance, particularly around Melbourne's south-east and the Mornington Peninsula.

About 100 buildings had been damaged, it said.



Fallen trees also caused delays to traffic, and there were reports of debris blowing through the air.

BOM senior forecaster Dean Steward said the dust was picked up from western Victoria as the winds moved across the state.

"It certainly hasn't been all that prolific so I wouldn't call it a dust storm, but [there has been] some raised dust as that change has come through," he said.

He said there was very little rain, with about 8 millimetres falling in the west of the state, and some showers in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

The worst of the winds had passed metropolitan Melbourne and will ease as the day progresses, the BOM said.

Asbestos blew over the Nepean Highway between Menzies Close and Bruarong Crescent at Frankston South, leading authorities to issue a warning for people in the area.

They urged people to move inside and close any doors or windows, and turn off air conditioning.



Passengers on a city-bound train from Hurstbridge became stuck near Jolimont station, after branches fell across powerlines.

ABC Radio Melbourne was told the train came to a "shuddering stop".

Emergency crews were called in to evacuate passengers from the train, who had to walk along the tracks.

Wild weather has also brought

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