By Michael Giles
IT’S going to be another cold night without power across a wide sweep of South Gippsland.
Dozens of homes, farmhouses and businesses remain without connection to electricity for a full week now, after the damaging storm of Wednesday, June 9, and will go into their 8th day waiting for a reprieve.
And according to the AusNet Outage Tracker website, at some locations, such as Meeniyan where there are still seven AusNet customers to be reconnected, they’re talking Saturday before power comes back on.
Not that Meeniyan Post Office Licensee Lynda Fromhold has had any official contact with AusNet.
“No, nothing. We don’t know when it will be back on,” Mrs Fromhold said today, who with her husband Lindsay, has served the community of Meeniyan and district for many a long year.
But, as the saying goes: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
Never was a truer word spoken.
Despite not having power, Lindsay, Lynda, Tish Cartwright, other staff and contractors continued sorting the mail at Meeniyan Post Office on Thursday morning after the storm, and again on Friday making sure the deliveries went out to Tarwin Lower, Venus Bay and Walkerville as usual, and also to Stony Creek and, one of the hardest hit areas, Dumbalk.
“In many cases, rural letterboxes were knocked down and the contractors either left the mail in a good spot or brought it back in to keep for the customers.
“We made it known that we’d be open on Monday as well, the public holiday and people came in to collect their packages and things.
“I would just like to say that Francesco Laera at Trulli (Woodfire Pizzeria) has been absolutely fantastic. He lent us his generator when he didn’t need it on Monday and then organised a small generator for us so we could get the lights and a bit of heating on.
“But we’re still off. You can see the problem up there. A tree fell on it.”
A small distribution box on a power pole in Meeniyan’s main street was knocked out at the height of last Wednesday’s storm by a falling branch, knocking out the post office, the famous Meeniyan Hall, the community toilets and Trulli.
“People have been very understanding but we’ve certainly done our best to get the mail through,” Mrs Fromhold said.
That’s the spirit!
Elsewhere in South Gippsland, the following locations and customer numbers are listed on the AusNet Outage Tracker as still being without power: Boolarong 11, Boolarra Sth 3, Dollar 7/39, Dumbalk 12/5, Dumbalk Nth 7, Fish Creek 1, Foster 8, Foster Nth 41, Gunyah 1, Inverloch 48, Koonwarra 3, Mardan 2, Meeniyan 7, Mirboo 33, Mt Best 8, Poowong 6, San Remo 1, Stony Creek 4/8, Tarwin 1, Tarwin Lwr 14, Toora Nth 4, Turtons Creek 5/27, Wonga 10, Woolamai 5, and Woorarra 16.