SOME Ararat homes are still without power after a severe storm lashed Ararat on Tuesday.
More than 200 homes and businesses were temporarily plunged into darkness as the storm hit about 7.30pm.
Power lines faulted in Nott Road and Queens Road.
Strong winds also caused a number of tree falls.
McLellan Street, one of the worst affected areas, is closed as emergency services and Ararat Rural City Council staff work to clean up the damage.
Trees are down, power lines are damaged and Mayor Ian Wilson said numerous homes and buildings were disfigured.
He said a carport was torn apart.
"Corrugated iron is wrapped around branches, high in trees," he said.
"It was like Christmas decorations."
Cr Wilson urged curious residents to stay out of the area if they could.
"While people are obviously concerned and interested, we ask them to keep away," he said.
He said the storm was largely confined to Campbell Street, Wilson Street and McLellan Street.
"The local hospital lost power for a couple of hours," he said.
"But Powercor had restored its power within two hours, which was fantastic."
One of the city's major businesses, Mitre 10, was also impacted.
Cr Wilson said a former football clubroom at Kokoda Park was completely demolished.
"It looks like it has taken the full brunt of the incident," he said.
Ararat Jailhouse Rock Festival organisers were using the brick building as a storage site.
Cr Wilson, who is involved in the event, feared a lot of the infrastructure for the festival had potentially been lost.
But he said the important thing was nobody had been injured.
"When you look at the amount of material distributed over a kilometre-square area, we were very lucky," he said.
Cr Wilson thanked the emergency services for their tireless work.
He encouraged anybody keen to help with the clean-up to call the council on 5355 0200.