MELBOURNE, AAP – Thousands of Victorians have woken up without power after thunderstorms and wild winds lashed the state.

The Victoria State Emergency Service received more than 950 calls for help in the 24 hours to 7.30am on Friday, and the most affected areas include Ballarat, Bendigo and Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

There were 743 reports of trees down and 149 reports of building damage, and those numbers are expected to rise as Victorians report more damage.

More than 100,000 households are without power.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds across much of the state on Friday, with winds averaging 60 to 70 km/h and peak gusts of 100 km/h expected to develop along western and central Victorian coasts during the morning.

The winds will pass through Melbourne then extend to Gippsland in the middle of the day.

The highest wind gusts reported so far include 143 km/h at Mt William in the Grampians, 119 km/h at Melbourne Airport and 115 km/h at St Kilda.

More than 4000 lightning strikes were detected within a 400km radius of Maryborough, about 168 km northwest of Melbourne

The Department of Transport said speeds have been reduced to 40km/h across the West Gate Bridge due to the high winds, while buses are replacing trains on the Glen Waverley line between Darling to Glen Waverley due to a fallen tree.

Due to power outages, many sets of traffic lights are out, while there is the potential for fallen powerlines.

The department is urging Victorians to drive with care through all intersections and should they encounter fallen power lines stay clear to call triple zero.

“With high winds expected to continue this morning, drivers should be vigilant on the roads and ensure nothing distracts their focus from the road. Deferring your travel may be the best option,” it said.

The storm also caused widespread damage in South Australia, leaving more than 30,000 homes and businesses in Adelaide without power.

The state’s emergency service is responding to 178 calls for help, mostly involving downed trees.