Salisbury East faced the worst of the overnight deluge, with most of the Adelaide metro area seeing between 30mm and 70mm of rain this morning.
A ‘small and brief’ tornado hit Salisbury and its surrounding suburbs around 5am, according to the state emergency service, with the agency now responding to more than 300 calls for help across the state , including 150 jobs in the Salisbury area.
Nearby Golden Grove recorded 70mm of rain in the past 24 hours, including 30.2mm in an hour as of 6:15 a.m., according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
The rural suburb of Hermitage recorded 70.2mm of rain while Banksia Park received 67mm.
SES State Duty Officer Robert Charlton said he was not aware of any injuries at this stage but there was extensive property damage in the Salisbury area .
“We saw a lot of wind damage, so downed trees, trees on houses, trees on roads,” he said.
“One of the issues we encountered was that our crews were restricted in accessing areas because, while attempting to respond to a request for assistance, they encountered other trees and had to clear the road before you get there.”
According to TrafficSA, parts of Main North Road spanning Salisbury Heights and Blakeview remain closed due to flood waters.
The Salisbury Highway at Parafield Gardens was also closed due to flooding, as were Victoria Road in North Haven and Adelaide Road in Mount Barker.
Adelaide CBD received 35mm of rain overnight, while areas further south including Sutton Creek, Ackland Hill, Aldgate Creek and Crafers West all recorded over 50mm.
The whole house shook, tiles were ripped off, my air conditioner was practically blown through the backyard.
The deluge came from a deep low pressure system and a cold front moving east across the state, according to the BoM.
“We also saw damage to the roofs, so damage to the air conditioners, damage to the roof tiles, and then obviously with the rains at the same time, water entering through the roofs,” Charlton said.
“We’ve certainly seen a lot of downed trees and power lines…we’re still assessing the extent of the damage, so there will be more jobs.”
SA Power Networks reported around 10.30am that more than 4,300 properties across Salisbury and more eastern suburbs such as Athelstone, Newton, Paradise and Rostrevor were without power.
Power has since been restored to around 2,000 properties, SAPN reported, with the company blaming the outages on vegetation contact with power lines.
Storm damage also forced the closure of Gulfview Heights Primary School in North Adelaide.
A Department of Education spokesman said there were broken windows and trees on the school grounds.
“We are aware of six other schools/preschools that have been affected,” the spokesperson said.
“These have generally experienced flooding or power outages, but have remained open.”
Warren, a resident of Salisbury East, called ABC Radio this morning and said the weather event sounded “like a freight train heading home”.
“It got louder and louder and then all of a sudden it hit,” he said.
“The whole house shook, the tiles were ripped off, my air conditioner practically blew through the garden.
“There are trees, electric wires have fallen everywhere and it’s only like a 100 meter stretch of the street, and either side is fine.”
He said the storm had torn a hole in his roof.
“I’ve never experienced this before but you could hear the wind, it was really scary,” he said.
“It’s just torn through a tight space and it just went straight over our house.”
Today’s deluge is the latest in a series of extreme weather events to hit South Australia over the past 12 months, including an October spring storm in the northern suburbs which caused more $100 million in damage and a “flood in 200 years”. in February that cut off cities in the far north of the state.
Charlton said some residents who had not yet fully recovered from the October hailstorm have now been affected by the latest weather event.
“Obviously it’s a little bit different, and obviously the hail does a lot of damage to the skylights and it’s that kind of punches and lets the rain through,” the state duty officer said. .
“So we haven’t seen that, although we know that some people in that area haven’t been able to complete their repairs since that storm, which would have further exacerbated the damage for that one.”
The SES has now set up 23 sandbag collection points for people battling potential flooding in their homes.
The BoM has now lifted its severe weather warning for the Adelaide Metro and Mount Lofty Ranges districts.
“At this point the weather should clear up a bit during the day but we might see more winds overnight,” Charlton said.
“Although at this point the Bureau does not expect it to be that serious, but there may still be time to come overnight.”
Gutters completely blown from roofs, trees and power lines down #Salisbury to the east after the wild weather last night, locals described the storm as a “mini tornado”. 55mm whipped the area overnight, cleaning in progress but it will be long @abcadelaide pic.twitter.com/XuQh6K00Zp
-Sara Tomevska (@STomevska) May 30, 2022
Charlton called for patience and asked the public to monitor conditions and “never walk, drive or play in flood waters”.
“We are trying to bring in as many crews as possible, but we will have to prioritize and it will take time,” he said.
“We will definitely be working for the rest of today and we may well be working on jobs tomorrow.”
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