Horsham North Tornado

Horsham Rural City Council is coordinating the recovery effort following the tornado which damaged about 110 homes in Horsham North in the early hours of Monday 7 December.

The storm was officially labelled a tornado by the Bureau of Meteorology, with winds reaching 177 kilometres per hour.

 

Home owners and volunteers cleaning up after the Horsham North tornado are being warned to be careful of exposure to asbestos.

The storm, which was officially labelled a tornado by the Bureau of Meteorology severely damaged homes in Horsham's north.

Gusts reached upwards of 177 kilometres per hour just before 1am on Monday morning.

Key points 

  • Asbestos totalling less than 10 m² can be disposed of by the homeowner at Dooen Landfill as long as removal is done safely
  • Larger quantities of 10m² or more will need to be removed by licensed asbestos handler
  • If homeowner is removing the asbestos, then the asbestos must be:
    1. Only handled with appropriate protective equipment, such as a P2 face mask and sturdy gloves
    2. Kept damp to reduce dust
    3. Packaged in two layers of 0.2 mm thick polythene sheeting (builders plastic), which is then to be sealed with adhesive tape and labelled with “CAUTION ASBESTOS". 
    4. Transported safely and securely to an EPA licensed facility. The two closest are Dooen Landfill and Stawell Landfill. These sites will require prior notification.

 

Horsham Rural City Council is offering a kerbside waste collection for residents directly affected by the tornado.

  • Tuesday 15 December
  • Tuesday 22 December
  • Further dates may be considered depending on assessed need. These would be early in January if they are to occur. 

*Please note: Only waste generated as a direct result of the tornado will be collected.

Separate piles of green waste, metal and hard rubbish need to be placed neatly on nature strips.

There are many Council trees that have been damaged, so HRCC crews will clean those up along with any that are on private property.

For hazardous waste – including broken glass or asbestos, firstly contact your insurance agent or landlord and then notify Council by calling 5382 9777.

It is normal to have strong reactions following a distressing or frightening event, and people can experience a range of physical, mental, emotional and behavioural reactions. There are a number support services available to assist you and your family recover from the strong emotional or physical reactions you may be experiencing. If at any time you are worried about your mental health or the mental health of a loved one, call Lifeline 13 11 14. 

Or contact: 

  • Your doctor, local community health centre or Western Victoria Primary Health Network  

  • 24-hour Mental Health Triage 1300 661 323 

  • Headspace Horsham (12-25 years) 5381 1543 

  • Grampians Community Health 5358 7400 

  • LOCAL Rural Outreach 1300 688 732 

  • Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre 1800 806 292 

  • BeyondBlue 1300 224 636 www.beyondblue.org.au 

  • Kids Help Line (5-25 years) 1800 551 800 www.kidshelpline.com.au 

When returning to your home after it has been storm damaged, take precautions to reduce the possibility of injury, illness or disease. 

Before going onto your property consider the following: 

  • Gas or electricity supplies may be damaged – these hazards need to be confirmed safe by a qualified electrician or plumber. 

  • The structural integrity of your home and structures may be affected – this needs to be declared safe by a qualified building surveyor. 

  • Keep children and pets away until the clean-up is completed. 

On site hazards may include the following: 

  • If gas has collected inside buildings do not smoke or use matches, lighters or other open flames. If possible, use flashlights or other battery-operated lights instead of candles. 

  • Wear sturdy waterproof boots and rubber or leather gloves. Cuts from broken glass and debris can be a problem. 

  • Water damage from a storm can cause excessive mould growth, which must be cleaned up before moving back to your home. 

  • Drinking water may be contaminated – do not drink any water unless you know it is safe. 

  • Food may be contaminated, or spoiled due to a power failure. 

 

If you are not in a vulnerable position yourself, consider talking to your neighbours to identify those who may need assistance – remember that many people value their privacy.

Neighbours can help each other in many ways and can include people in your street or community. 

 

  • Financial support may be available for affected residents from the Salvation Army. The Horsham contact number is 5382 1770.
  • People can also enquire about Personal Hardship Assistance Grants by visiting the DHHS office at 21 McLachlan St, Horsham.