BP Westside in Leongatha was one of the few businesses open in town yesterday, being swamped for petrol, gas bottles and ice as the area struggled to cope with the long-term power outage as a result of Wednesday night’s storm.


THE power came back on in most of Leongatha at 12.04am this morning, Friday, June 11 as the blackout ravaged area began to emerge from a 36-hour shutdown.

It wasn’t enough notice for Thorntons Bakery in McCartin Street to go into production mode and they remain closed today.

And Michael’s Supa IGA was working hard from daybreak to get their venue open – expecting to be open soon.

But the rest of the town has come back to life after an eerie last day and a half.

One of the only businesses in the town that stayed open all day yesterday, Thursday, June 10, was BP Westside, where ironically there had been a burglary the day before.

“We were fortunate enough to be able to get a generator going and we were open all day,” said service station staff member Caitlyn McFarlane.

“Looking up and down the street, there was nothing else open. It was a pretty eerie feeling being the only place open.”

Caitlyn acknowledged a big run on ice bags, especially by people in outlying areas, and also businesses trying to keep supplies cold.

“We completely sold out of ice but we’re hoping to get a delivery from Colemans this morning.”

Management staff member at Evans Petroleum, John Schelling, said it was a pretty epic day.

“We had people lined right back waiting for fuel as we were the only place in South Gippsland and Bass Coast open for fuel. We had people coming across from Wonthaggi and all around filling up cars and drums.

“The other one that was a big one was gas bottles for the BBQ.

“But it’s started to settle down now.”

Leongatha Business Association President Anthony Walls confirmed that the power came back on at 12.04am and as far as he knows power is on to most of the town, apart from a couple of isolated pockets.

“All the shops are open, except Michaels IGA which I understand will be open soon.

“But I couldn’t say the same for Meeniyan, Dumbalk and some of the outlying towns.

“We’ve lost a day’s trade but hopefully businesses haven’t lost much stock.”