ARARAT - A severe thunderstorm which lashed Ararat was concentrated in the Ararat north area around Kokoda Park on Tuesday night, demolishing buildings and bringing down powerlines and trees.
The Ararat SES unit attended a number of callouts and were kept busy assisting residents in the area on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
Ararat SES controller Donna Dunmore said there were trees down everywhere and windows blown in but SES personnel were mainly kept busy on Wednesday morning assisting residents in McLellan Street who lost tiles off their roof and had the carport collapse on their car.
"That was probably the worst damage to any house in the street," she said.
Ms Dunmore said the weather pattern that caused the storm was referred to as a microburst and was similar to incidents which occurred in both Elmhurst and Beaufort in recent years.
"It looks like it (the storm) just scraped the top of Mitre 10 (taking off roofing iron), hit the clubrooms at Kokoda Park taking the middle of it out and then went up again," she said.
"If it had happened in a different part of town it would have been a very different situation."
Senior meteorologist with the Bureau of Meteorology Peter Blake said the storm resulted from an unstable airmass associated with a low pressure system moving across Victoria.
"The thunderstorm which caused the damage at Ararat on Tuesday night was on the edge of the radar coverage and so there was no reliable image of the storm that we can tie any particular weather to," Mr Blake said.
"The reason for this is that the effects of a thunderstorm can be so narrow that even with a very dense network of automatic weather stations, the effects may not be broad enough to see."
Mr Blake said BOM's observational network around the area did not show any appreciable increase apart from a high rain gauge recording at Eversley (60mm in the 24 hours to 9am Wednesday).
"Also, the fact that this storm occurred around nightfall, meant there was less likely to be visual reports of a tornado. We have not heard of any visual report," he said, indicating that not all tornadoes can be seen on radar.
Residents Bob and Lesley Sladdin, who live in King Street near Kokoda Park, recorded around 17 millimetres of rain during the storm and overnight.
Official BOM rainfall figures showed that 18.4mm of rain fell in the 24 hours to Wednesday morning.
The storm also caused powerlines to be brought down and power outages across Ararat.
A Powercor spokesman said the power was cut at 7.29pm on Tuesday with 1283 customers going off supply, caused by a tree in McNeil Street hitting the cross arm of a power pole, while high and low voltage lines were brought down in McLellan Street.
Powercor responded quickly so that 1083 customers were brought back on line quickly with only 200 remaining without power.
Crews worked through Tuesday night and Wednesday morning repairing damage and making the area safe.
A number of customers were still experiencing high voltage injection - or power surges - on Wednesday, which was addressed while six customers required a visit by an electrical inspector before their power was restored.
The spokesperson said that all repairs had been made by 12.15pm on Wednesday and the main power restored to customers.