Storms End But Flood Risk Remains In SA
The storms are gone but flood risks remain for many South Australians battered by this week’s severe weather. Of most concern for emergency services are areas in the Barossa Valley, north of Adelaide, and around the Onkaparinga catchment, south of the city.
Rivers in those areas are still rising, with some properties already inundated and several roads cut. Among the centres of most concern to the north are properties along the Gawler River and others around Tanunda where the caravan park has been evacuated. To the south, the State Emergency Service (SES) says a moderate flood risk remains at Old Noarlunga and Port Noarlunga from the Onkaparinga River and a moderate flood risk also remains from the Torrens River, which runs through Adelaide’s northern suburbs and into the city. The SES has issued a warning for people not to enter floodwaters by car or on foot after crews performed six swift-water rescues involving motorists stranded in their vehicles. But the flood concerns for other centres, including Port Pirie and Clare have reduced after a wild night of destructive winds and heavy rain. Improving weather across the state has allowed SA Power Networks to reconnect more properties after Wednesday’s statewide blackout and ongoing issues with storm damage. By yesterday morning about 12,000 were still without services because of the network failure, mostly on the Eyre Peninsula and in the far north. Transmission company ElectraNet says ground crews are continuing to work on the line between Cleve and Port Lincoln to repair a fault that only became evident during an earlier attempt to restore services.
It also hoped to survey lines to Roxby Downs and Leigh Creek from the air on Friday. Concerns are growing for some regional centres where power has been out since Wednesday, cutting the supply of fresh food and access to fuel and cash.
The several thousand still without power because of other storm damage were largely dotted through the Adelaide Hills. SA Power Networks spokesman Paul Roberts said safe access to lines and other equipment had proved a real issue during the severe conditions with extra contractors brought in to relieve tired crews. The Bureau of Meterology has cancelled all severe weather warnings for SA but has forecast more light rain across the flood-affected areas.
Melrose farmer Andrew Walter’s hay shed was destroyed in the storm.