Fallen tree makes Kallista home uninhabitable

A rental property in Kallista has been deemed uninhabitable after a large tree demolished its lounge room, kitchen and bathroom. PICTURES: TYLER WRIGHT

By Tyler Wright

After it was severely damaged by a large fallen tree at around midday on Monday 31 October, trapping a mother and two children in its wake, a rental property in Kallista has been deemed uninhabitable.

Emerald SES, Monbulk and Kallista-The Patch CFA fire brigade crews were on the scene alongside Victoria Police and paramedics after a tree demolished the Royle Avenue home’s kitchen, lounge room and bathroom after a week of heavy rain and winds of up to 128 km/h blew over Melbourne on Monday.

The uprooted tree from a neighbouring property the impacted property’s shed before reaching the roof of the home.

“It’s not even a case of a branch being a skylight, the roofing truss was on the floor…there was tree at shin level,” Emerald SES deputy unit controller Neil Fisher said.

“If people had been in other rooms it would have been a very different situation…It might have been [to] assist Victoria Police in body recovery, it was that level of impact.”

Mr Fisher said the kids bedroom was not impacted, with SES crews called out again at around 2.07pm to assist in retrieving belongings from another bedroom which suffered partial damage.

Ambulance Victoria confirmed a woman in her 40s was assessed at the scene but did not require emergency treatment or transport to hospital.

“On the first call they were in extreme shock and I think mum was very thankful that there were no injuries other than a small bump to the head,” Mr Fisher said.

“They’ve moved away from the house due to it being not habitable.”

The Star Mail understands neighbours heard the tree falling on to the house.

Emerald SES crews were called out to 70 incidents on Monday 31 October, including a home in Belgrave also devastated by a fallen tree.

Mr Fisher said SES crews are finding a lot more landslide activity this year, with areas throughout Upwey, Tecoma, Belgrave, Olinda, Sassafras areas hit with minor landslides in the past 72 hours, with a few jobs in the Cockatoo and Emerald region.

Trees were also falling onto roads and properties.

“It’s been a long couple of days for the volunteers,” he said.

“When the winds first started blowing we had probably 20 members – between on road and administrative roles – at our headquarters throughout the evening, and then yesterday (Monday 31 October) was [around] close to 15 members available and working for the community,” Mr Fisher said.

Mr Fisher said it was combination of wet weather and wind which destabilised the roots of the tree on Royle Avenue, and Emerald SES crews always run their readiness in preparation for weather events.

“Our vehicles are fuelled and ready to go, we’ve got a quantity of sandbags available should we have torrential rains again…

“One of our worries coming into the coming week is that we will get some more torrential rains, knowing that the flash flooding in these areas is prominent, and we urge people not to drive through flood water.”