It was a wild night in South Australia. The entire state plunged into darkness when a “once in 50-year” mega-storm ripped through power infrastructure yesterday afternoon.
More than 100,000 lightening strikes and gale-force winds knocked over 22 transmission towers near Port Augusta, cutting power to the state’s 1.67 million residents at 3.45pm local time.
The shutdown saw people stuck in lifts, traffic in gridlock, and hospitals reverting to backup generators while staff worked under torchlight. As the sun went down on neighbourhoods across the state, candles came out in force. Though some residents got a little more creative.
Despite the power shutdown and imminent loss of phone battery, Adelaide’s residents took to social media to share their predicaments. Most of the images were unifying and heartwarming; romantic images of candlelight, glasses of wine, and cobbled-together dinner efforts.
Some feared the end times had arrived.
Meanwhile many of Adelaide’s hardworking hospo crews kept their doors open for hungry punters.
Ain't nothin' like a little blackout to add some atmosphere! The candles are lit, The beer is still pouring, The food is hot from the gas stove, And the honkytonk is hand and soul powered. The show must go on! The Runebilly Rattle will be jammin along tonight! We'll see you here! #Adelaide #hurricane #livejazz
Others prioritised important perishables.
The storm is now heading towards Victoria, but the Bureau of Meteorology says warnings for damaging winds and high tides remain in place for the Adelaide metropolitan area and much of the state.
“Another low-pressure system will push over Kangaroo Island into central districts late afternoon with potential for more damaging winds and rainfall.”
The next two days are expected to see another 40-80 millilitres of rainfall in the Mount Lofty Ranges and another 50-100 millilitres further north. “We’re on flood watch for the Adelaide metro area, Mount Lofty Ranges and we have a flood warning for Onkaparinga. We’re already starting to see minor flooding at the Onkaparinga River.”