Showers, power and food waste drop off available as clean up continues

Community members can continue to access showers, power and food drop-off points this week, as Council works with agencies to clear access to isolated areas of the Yarra Ranges.

Council, the State Government and agencies are working to clear debris and restore power and phone access in the Yarra Ranges after last week’s storm, which resulted in hundreds of fallen trees, widespread infrastructure damage and flooding.

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Fiona McAllister, said that crews were working to clear trees and debris, and provide access for services across the Dandenongs, where the storm hit the hardest.

“We’ve received more than 640 drainage and tree-related requests from community members as a result of the storms, but we’re also mindful that many people are still without power and phone connections to contact us,” Cr McAllister said.

“Over the coming weeks and months we’ll continue to see the impact of these storms unfold, and we’ll be working with AusNet Services, the State Government and other agencies to help clear up debris, provide safe access to community members’ homes and restore services.

“Already, the amount of debris collected could cover the ground at the MCG, and we’re stockpiling wood from fallen trees. You may notice large piles of wood on roadsides and in reserves – this will be picked up and disposed of once our priority works have been completed.

“We’ve activated power and shower facilities across the Yarra Ranges and provided some bins for emergency food waste disposal. Please check our website for the latest information about these services and what support may be available, and, please, pass on information to anyone you know who may not have internet access back.”

Power and shower facilities have been set up at Olinda Recreation Reserve, Lilydale Heights Secondary College, Yarra Junction Sporting Pavilion, Yarra Glen Memorial Hall (charging facilities and triage only), Belgrave Community Hub and the Queens Park sporting pavilion in Healesville.

Drop-off points have also been set up with additional bins for community members at Kalorama Football Club, the Olinda public toilets on Monash Avenue and at the rear of the Healesville Community Link, where spoiled food can be disposed of.

Check the Council website or call 1300 368 333 for more information on these services, as locations and times are being updated daily.

Cr McAllister said there had been a tremendous positive response to the emergency from emergency services members and volunteers, community groups, charities and local businesses.

“It’s been heartening to see the community banding together during this emergency – from those offering services, equipment, food and power, right through to our emergency services members who have been working constantly since Wednesday night to respond to these storms," she said.

“I’d like to thank everyone who put their hand up to help someone else in the community – it never goes unnoticed and it makes a world of difference to the people you’re helping.

“There has been and will be significant impacts on mental health in the community from these storms. We know people have been struggling with the pandemic and restrictions and we still have many people cut off from power, services and phone reception.

“Feeling distressed is normal during times like these. Please reach out to people around you, to your GP or to LifeLine on 13 11 14 if you need help.

“If you are without services, you are allowed to travel and stay with family or friends, and the State Government will be providing disaster relief payments for those impacted by the storms.

“If you’re in need of help and don’t know where to go, give us a call on 1300 368 333 and we’ll connect you with assistance wherever we can.”