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Wild Tassie weather blacks out 10,000

Ten thousand people have been left without electricity after wild storms lashed northern Tasmania, blowing trees onto power lines and causing flash flooding.


A cold front has brought heavy rain and wind gusts of up to 140km/h, leaving many with a lengthy wait for power to be restored.

At one point 16,000 customers were affected, while winds and lightning forced energy company Aurora to stand down crews for safety reasons.

With conditions easing late on Wednesday, crews were scrambling to attend 800 jobs logged throughout the day.

“There is the possibility that some customers will be without power tonight,” spokesman Ben Lohberger told AAP.

“There’s not much we can do about it with the weather and safety issues and the volume of calls we’re getting.”

Flights were grounded at Devonport’s airport and delays experienced at Launceston due to unsafe cross-winds.

The Spirit of Tasmania ferry docked an hour and a half late after seasick passengers had to wait for a lull in conditions that produced winds of more than 50 knots and five-metre seas on the approach to Devonport.

The fourth stage of the Tour of Tasmania cycling race was cancelled due to safety concerns after an initial delay when competitors were unable to make it to the start.

Several roads were blocked, including the arterial Bass Highway, and the state’s rail freight was suspended, while the State Emergency Service attended dozens of callouts.

“They’re ranging from minor flood inundation to trees down over driveways and roofs and damage to things like sheds that have been blown about in the wind,” spokesperson Mhairi Revie said.

Late on Wednesday, the SES had issued a minor flood warning for the Huon River in the state’s south.

Severe weather warnings remained in place for much of the state’s north but the Bureau of Meteorology said conditions were set to ease.

“The rain band should clear out past Flinders Island by about 10 o’clock tonight,” forecaster Anna Forrest said.

“So (there will be) a gradual improvement but it will get cold.

“What little shower activity is around could actually be falling as snow (to 800m).”

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