South Australia has been beaten and broken during the wild weather surges this 2016 Winter/ Spring. We have had extreme storms that have destroyed homes, businesses and attractions across the entire state.
Hopefully we have just experienced that last of it. I'm not so sure us Adelaidians can take much more! And I'm holding out for some warm, drier weather. I've exhausted pretty much every 'rainy day' activity possible.
Even though the thunder, lightning, hail, and stormy winds are beginning to somewhat settle, the repercussions of the weather will last much longer. The ruination is widespread, and we need to remain cautious. Below are a few warnings and measures that must be taken post-storm.
The storm peels over Adelaide. Image: Emma Jane Warren
The Adelaide Hills in particular copped a big smack from the most recent storm. This means that many popular walking and hiking trails have been torn to pieces. The paths may be indistinguishable, or could have ugly debris strewn all over them.
The Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty track is one of the affected trails. Large trees have completely collapsed over the track, creating immovable obstacles that will hinder any walkers. Hence, the track is closed until further notice. It has been said that it may take quite a few months for this commonly used hike to be brought back to its original state and reopened to the public.
Even though some trails may seem unharmed and therefore okay for walking, much care should still be taken. Branches from trees, or entire trees, are still very likely to snap off and fall despite the weather calming down.
Trails around wetlands and alongside rivers are also dangerous. Many trails that lie beside the River Torrens have become submerged and paths nearby wetlands have too been flooded. Walking through deep water can be unsafe because the water flow may be stronger than can be seen by the eye.
The Kaurna Wetland Walking Trail has been flooded. Image: Emma Jane Warren
You must be cautious at the beach. With the high tides and record breaking wave heights, a significant amount of ocean debris has been dumped onto the shore line.
Some beaches may have large lumps of seaweed - avoid walking in these. There could be any sorts of objects in them! Also, it is likely that the tides have changed the sand formation. Be conscious of dips, holes and hills that may have been created. It could be in your best interest to wear shoes if walking on the sand.
Jetties also may not be the safest walking spot. If signs say that the jetty is closed, do not take any risks. Follow signage at all times. Even if the jetty appears steady and open, the planks may have lost some strength. Keep away from wonky and wobbly wood and stick to the flatter and studier sections.
It is still probably too cold to be in the ocean, but if you do feel like going for a swim, don't do it near a river outlet. The heavy rainfall has flooded Adelaide rivers and the water is gradually all being pushed out to sea. Most of these rivers are heavily polluted with small and large debris that has flown into them. Hence, the ocean water within approximately 250m (or more) of a river outlet will be unsafe for swimmers. One of the major river outlets is South of Henley Beach.
If you see any water that is brown or discoloured, take caution. Although it may just be churned up sand underneath the surface, you do not know what is in amongst all that sand.
The waves are so high that surfers are flocking to metro beaches. Image: Emma Jane Warren
If possible, park your car where there are no trees (or at least no large trees) around it. Although the winds are now settling and it may appear safe, some trees have been significantly weakened. Branches or sections of trees can fall off at any time, and will cause great damage to your car.
Many roads have had trees fall down and block the passage for cars. As you turn corners, be thoughtful of this - you don't know where obstacles may be. If you do come across small branches on suburban streets, and it is safe/practical to park your car nearby, you can help by removing the branch yourself and putting it on the side of the road. Just watch out for on coming traffic!
Otherwise, hefty tree obstacles can be reported to the Traffic Management Centre on 1800 018 313. It is likely that their phone lines are going to be very busy over the next week or so. It might take a while to get through.
The entire state suffered an extensive blackout during the storms. Some traffic lights still may not be functioning. If this is the case, drive slowly around where the lights are out. Look in every direction before entering the intersection. Report traffic light outages to 13 13 66.
The River is dirty and trees are falling in places they shouldn't be. Image: Emma Jane Warren
The South Australian State Emergency Service team, who have spent the past weeks and months sandbagging and rescuing, are volunteers. Yes, that's right. They give up their energy, time and kind hearts without getting paid a single cent.
If you know or see an SES worker, be sure to thank them. Their efforts are truly heroic and we would be in a far worse position without them.
Thanks Gayle. It is quite crazy the damage that the storms have left. Almost every river/wetland is flooded. Thankfully we had some clear sky today, and it looks like there may be some more later this week. Thanks for your concern