Thousands still without power, schools closed after weekend storm in South Australia

Wild storms have forced more than 50 Adelaide schools to shut today as thousands remain without power.

More than 30,000 people remain without power and dozens of schools across Adelaide were closed Monday morning as South Australia mops up from a fierce storm that passed through over the weekend.

SA Power Networks’ outages map shows as of Monday afternoon, there are 237 power outages across the state this morning affecting more than 35,000 customers.

At the peak of Saturday’s storm, 163,000 customers were left without power, with SA Power Networks responding to more than 500 reports of downed electricity wires.

The State Emergency Service says it received 1029 requests for assistance on Saturday, with more than 2000 call outs across the emergency services over the weekend.

The SES said more than 1000 calls related to downed trees, while other jobs concerned damaged rooves and water coming through the ceiling.

“As a result of the severe weather and large number of fallen trees, we’ve also seen many powerlines that have been brought down,” the SES said in a statement.

Another 50 requests for assistance were received this morning, SES state duty officer Brenton Clarke told radio today.

Schools closed following storm

Just over 30 public schools will be closed today due to power outages, according to Education Department CEO Martin Westwell.

The Education Department initially published a list of 50 schools that would be closed but has reduced the list after some schools had power restored.

Mr Westwell said students with SACE exams at schools that are closed today will not be able to sit their exams and will be assessed on their work throughout the year.

“We can’t rerun it because you’ve just had hundreds of students in other schools doing that exam and being aware of questions on the paper,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“The SACE Board have got this really robust process for … developing the exam grade, and we know when we look across the data that that’s a really reliable way, actually, of predicting that exam grade.”

Mr Westwell said this situation would only affect “just a couple of schools in the public system”.

Telstra outage

Meanwhile, SA Police says it has been advised that communities in Booborowie, Burra, Copley, Gidgealpa, Hallet, Leigh Creek, Marree, Nepabunna and Yeelanna are unable to access Telstra services due to power outages and therefore unable to call 000.

“If you require other emergency services, please attend your nearest emergency service facility [police or fire station],” SAPOL said in a statement.

“Stay tuned to your local radio station using a battery powered radio in your home or vehicle.”

SAPOL also said last night traffic lights remain out at “a number of major intersections across Adelaide” which will “greatly impact motorists” during peak hour.

“The community are asked to be patient while driving and to leave for their destinations earlier than usual to prepare for these expected delays,” SAPOL said.

“Police urge motorists to slow down, drive to the conditions, never drive or ride through floodwaters and obey the directions of emergency services personnel.”

A list of road closures can be found at Traffic SA.

This story first appeared in InDaily and is republished here with permission.

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