30/01/2022 05:20 PM South Australia

Update on Major Emergency Declaration

As part of a strategic, state-wide response to the Declaration of a Major Emergency, the South Australian State Emergency Service (SASES) is coordinating the response and recovery for the severe weather and flooding event with federal, state, local agencies and industry and local communities. 

The Premier highlighted the reasons for major emergency declaration and informed that over 45 local councils have been affected by last week’s rainfall and flooding, and there is more rain expected in the next 72 hours. 

SASES Chief Officer Chris Beattie said that the township of Coober Pedy is isolated over the past several days due to rainfall and flooding of the highway. “We are working closely with the ADF on an emergency resupply of 20 tonnes of essential food goods to Coober Pedy via RAAF Base Edinburgh, with flights to commence from Monday, followed by several other flights.” 

“The Department of Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) is continuing to assess, repair and reopen the Stuart highway near Glendambo. It is pleasing to hear that road freight has commenced using an alternate route to NT that was approved by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator. Some delays have been reported due to flooding at the borders of NSW and Queensland but freight is moving and DIT are considering ways to speed up the transit.”

“ARTC is continuing to assess and coordinate repairs to the rail track, the rail track damage has halted all rail movements between South Australia with Western Australia and Northern Territory. At this stage restoration is expected to be complete between 14 and 17 February.”

Mr Beattie informed “A flood watch and severe thunderstorm warning is in place and we do have concerns that this next front could lead to additional road, rail and property damage, exacerbating supply chain disruptions including food supplies for some communities, as well as increased economic impacts from further delayed freight.”

“We will continue to coordinate across government agencies to ensure the appropriate support is being delivered where it is needed most.’’

Paul Lainio from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) advised further thunderstorm activity with a potential for heavy rainfall and flooding across the pastoral and Flinders districts. BOM models suggest falls of 50mm and 100mm with some areas possibly receiving up to 200mm over a 72 hours period across the NE and NW Pastoral and Flinders districts.

Assistant Commissioner of SAPOL, Ian Parrot reported several breaches in adherence to road closure restrictions and reminded all motorists to comply with road closures.  

The SASES advises the following:

  • With existing damage to roads and more severe weather on the way people are encouraged to avoid all unnecessary travel to these affected areas. To avoid the risk of getting stuck, isolated or stranded, please delay your travelling north for now.
  • If you’re must travel through these areas, plan ahead to stay safe:
    • Pack supplies, such as plenty of water and non-perishable foods, in case you become isolated due to flooded roads.
    • Never drive, ride or walk through floodwaters, and don’t let children play in it either—you don’t know what’s happening under the surface.

Call 132 500 if you need SES assistance, call 000 (Triple Zero) if the matter is life threatening.