A McDonald’s run in the middle of Victoria’s deadly storms potentially saved the lives of a family of three.
Wild weather across the state saw winds reach up to 100km/h and three people die, including a four-year-old boy.
One family from Belgrave, about 35km from Melbourne’s CBD, say if they hadn’t gone to McDonald’s they may not be alive.
Nigel Leslie had taken his two daughters to the fast-food restaurant and while the three of them were out, a tree fell and destroyed his home leaving “chaos and carnage” behind.
“Had we not gone to Macca’s, I dare say we would have been in the house when it happened,” Nigel Leslie told 7News.
Mr Leslie’s ex-wife, Brooke, was emotional relaying the events of the night before.
“When Nigel got home with the girls, my youngest just ran into my arms and said ‘Daddy could have died’,” she said, according to the Herald Sun.
“It was pretty confronting. If I hadn’t have hurt my back, I could have been here dropping off the kids. We all could have been here.
“The universe has looked after us.”
Four-year-old killed in storm identified
The preschooler who was killed in the storm has been identified as Ayan Kapoor. He was struck by a tree in Melbourne’s Blackburn South on Thursday evening.
Speaking to Nine News, a family member said Ayan had been outside for only a few minutes before he was struck by the tree and then rushed to hospital.
A 36-year-old woman was also killed after a tree hit the ute in which she was a passenger at Fernshaw, in regional Victoria, about 7pm.
The 24-year-old male driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
In another incident, a 59-year-old man died after a tree fell on his car as he was leaving a shopping centre in Belgrave.
Premier Daniel Andrews offered his condolences to the families of those killed, noting it was “no ordinary storm event”, occurring against the backdrop of strict COVID-19 rules for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.
The early-evening storm caused widespread power outages and water contamination concerns, with Melbourne residents told to boil drinking water.
"The risk is not huge," chief health officer Brett Sutton said.
"I wouldn't say people should be really concerned. I don't expect a spike in gastro."
Supplier Yarra Water said an outage at the Silvan Reservoir, 40km east of Melbourne, meant untreated water was released into the system.
That affects about 250,000 homes in 88 suburbs mainly across the city's north and east.
On Friday afternoon, Yarra Water said it was working to flush the system and would confirm when the boiled water advisory was withdrawn.
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