Altona pier breaks in wild weather

A section of Altona pier was broken in Wednesday night's wild weather. (Rachel Newby) 240497_01

Goya Dmytryshchak

A section of Altona pier has broken off in Wednesday night’s wild weather.

Meanwhile, the surf was up at Williamstown beach with six diehard surfers making the most of the waves.

Wind gusts of 96 km/h were recorded over Port Phillip Bay overnight.

Parks Victoria district manager Graeme Davis said the pier remained open for now.

“Altona Pier was damaged in the overnight storm, and the low landing has broken away and washed up on the nearby beach,” he said.

“We are currently assessing the damage and making the area safe.

“For now, the jetty approach up to the first low landing remains open but access may be restricted if changing weather conditions continue to create risks.

“We encourage anyone venturing out onto piers and jetties during these extreme weather conditions to take extra care and observe any onsite safety signage and directions.”

Rachel Newby photographed the damaged pier on Thursday morning.

“On our morning walk, fighting through the winds to the pier this morning, we were greeted by proof mother nature shouldn’t be messed with,” she said.

“One of the lower levels at the end of the pier had been ripped off. It was crazy out there.”

Elwyn Davies photographed the surfers at Williamstown on Thursday morning.

“This was about 4.30 today,” he said.

“About six diehard surfers braved the waves in some very wintry conditions.”

Gusts of 76km/h were recorded at 9pm and 11pm at the closest weather station at Laverton.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Miriam Bradbury said gusts over the bay were much stronger.

“Really strong winds right across the Melbourne area last night, including that Altona area, with peak wind gusts in that area generally in the order of 85-95km/h coming through in the overnight period,” she said.

“Over the bay, we did have wind gusts reaching 96km/h.

“We saw very strong winds continuing throughout the night so this would have contributed to damage in the area.

“We’re generally on an improving trend today, so both the winds and the rain definitely easing off.

“We do still have a severe weather warning current for damaging winds across the Melbourne area at the moment but it’s really for the tail end of this system.”

The Hobsons Bay SES unit received 11 calls for help, including downed trees and roof damage.

Unit controller Simon Hetherton warned people not to drive through floodwaters.

“It’s just a really dangerous thing to do especially around the Altona Road/Racecourse Road area, which is known hotspot for flooding.

“Fifteen centimetres of floodwater can be dangerous for a small vehicle.

“You don’t know what’s underneath the water, so you could think it’s fairly shallow but something might have eroded.

“It might be a pothole that could potentially foul your vehicle and get you stuck in that water.”