Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Australian state loses power as strong storm lashes region

Another view of Montacute Rd Athelstone. Pic Roy VanDerVegt Another view of Montacute Rd Athelstone. Pic Roy VanDerVegtSource:Supplied
Howard Terry | 29 September, 2016, 00:39

Mr Butler said the Snowtown wind farm, north of Adelaide, was actually helping to prop up the state's power supply ahead of gas power stations as the network was gradually brought back online.

With power out across the state for several hours on Wednesday, Twitter was awash with people having a crack at SA, some suggesting the last person to leave had indeed turned out the lights.

SA Power Networks is responsible to run the electricity distribution network of the state.

The entire state was plunged into darkness late yesterday, after a severe storm.

SA Power Networks said repairs to its transmission network were underway.

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg told Sky News "serious questions" needed to be answered as to "how this extreme weather event could take out the whole of the electricity supply across a major state such as South Australia".

Earlier this week, the Grattan Institute warned that South Australia's high reliance on renewable energy sources left it exposed to disruptions. "There are a series of back-up generators", Weatherill said.

The BOM radar shows a massive storm passing over Adelaide and South Australia.

He said the cause of the blackout would be investigated.

"We had winds which were so strong that when they hit power lines they were creating such energy, they were tearing the towers out of the ground", he told reporters.

TV pictures showed police using illuminated batons to direct cars and lifts being prised open by firefighters to release the people trapped inside.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said it was fortunate there were no reports of any deaths or injuries as a result of the blackout or the severe weather, although 19 people had to be rescued from lifts when the power failed.

Power to the entire state is expected to be restored by early Thursday.

The State Emergency Service had responded to more than 450 calls for help, most because of fallen trees or rising water. Showers and thunderstorms, potentially severe, ahead of and with the front.

The storm was expected to continue pummeling the region through Thursday, with wind gusts exceeding 100 kilometers an hour (60 miles an hour) in places, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

'This depth of low, this close to the coast, is very damaging, ' the Bureau of Metereology SA's director John Nairn said.

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