THOUSANDS of businesses and householders are still without power across South Gippsland and Bass Coast after a day of ‘storm-force winds’ knocked down trees and brought down powerlines.

And according to Media Manager, Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Jonathon Geddes, it might be well into the weekend before all power is restored.

At the San Remo IGA Supermarket they’ve had the generators on all day and with power still off to 1258 properties in the town at 6pm, there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s the same situation at dozens of other businesses but many of them have simply closed their doors, without any power for fridges, lights or EFTPOS on what was expected to be the busiest holiday weekend ever… at the end of the Melbourne lockdown.

But it hasn’t got away to a good start.

Some have contacted the ‘Sentinel-Times’ to say they even received calls from accommodation provides to warn them that the power was still out and to consider leaving it until tomorrow to come.

And while the crowds are still expected to arrive in numbers, the roads weren’t carrying much traffic at 6pm on Friday night, October 29 when the state’s COVID-safe rules were eased by Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton scraping the city-country divide.

At Venus Bay where 1931 properties were without power and Inverloch where 1432 homes were down, the Ausnet site was saying the power might be off until 11.59pm.

Wonthaggi’s 1728 powerless customers have been told their power might return by 9pm, cold comfort where one side of the street has power and the other not.

Cape Paterson residents, with 1233 out of power, have been told to expect a return by 9pm also.

Korumburra is still out and may be until 11.59pm tonight.

Not all residents in Leongatha are off, but the 109 that are, could also be waiting a while.

It’s a shemozzle and for those that are also without Optus service, it’s a double blow.