HUNDREDS of homes are without power and some are uninhabitable after severe thunderstorms that ripped through Victoria's southwest.Power was cut to 9000 homes and the State Emergency Service received 250 calls for help within an hour from residents at Ballarat - that's more than four calls per minute - from 9pm as the storm hit last night.
By this afternoon, 708 homes were still without power in Ballarat and Ararat.
Gordon Badham, spokesman for electricity distributor Powercor, said repair crews were expected to have everyone's power restored by tonight.
"We're hoping to get everyone back by tonight but that depends upon the conditions and circumstances," he said.
"We've had downed lines and trees across lines, we've had trees blocking roads and other obstructions, so it has been complicated.
"(The storm) was short and sharp but it certainly produced some serious impact."
SES spokesman Lachlan Quick said more than 300 calls for help were received, mainly from residents at Sebastopol, Mount Helen and Mount Clear.
He said the calls concerned building damage from heavy wind, rain, hail and fallen trees, as well as trees fallen onto roads.
A handful of homes at Mr Clear had been rendered uninhabitable when they were damaged by falling trees.
Neighbouring SES units as well as those in Melbourne and Geelong had been helping to clear the backlog of calls but there were still 70 people waiting for help on Saturday afternoon.
"We expect it will take all of today and potentially some of tomorrow to clear it all up," he said.
"They are certainly not 15 minute jobs. Many of them will take several hours."
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster James Taylor said thunderstorms were expected to hit north of Ballarat tonight, with the potential for more storms in the areas that were battered last night.
But the storm front would be much less severe, he said.
"It should stay north of Ballarat and not affect the areas that were hit last night but there is a chance, so we have briefed emergency services about that," he said.
"It's extremely unlikely that it would be anywhere near as severe as what they got last night."