SA flooding threatens electricity supply
SA Power Networks is preparing for flooding along the River Murray which is expected to impact electricity supply to low-lying properties and infrastructure.
There is a significant safety risk posed by electrical assets in floodwaters.
We have been making urgent assessments around the potential impact on customers and infrastructure of floods up to anticipated daily flow levels of 135GL up to 160GL. We are also continually monitoring the conditions in case this anticipated level increases.
We are currently assessing electricity infrastructure at risk, based on latest official flood predictions. Some of our infrastructure is already standing in floodwaters on floodplains beyond the banks of the river. Electricity supply will almost certainly be disconnected to some flooded areas as the flood surge moves down the river over coming weeks.
Disconnections may involve isolated shacks or multiple properties in low-lying areas. We will also monitor any impact on the higher voltage parts of our network that may be at risk.
We will communicate directly with customers affected via our SMS system, if they are signed up to receive notifications, but we are aware that many shacks will be unoccupied. Owners of unoccupied shacks can still sign up to receive outage alerts for their properties.
The safety of our community and staff is very important to us
In terms of safety, there are many issues that the public needs to be aware of, including:
- Avoiding downed or low powerlines
- Staying clear of all electricity infrastructure in floodwaters (it may be energised)
- Being aware that powerlines - particularly those that cross the river - may be low over flood waters (and therefore clearances may be breached)
- Not approaching electrical infrastructure (ie boaties and yabby hunters need to make themselves aware of the location of electrical equipment if exploring areas beyond the normal extent of the river).
There is a real potential risk to the community from electric shock or other issues associated with our infrastructure in flood waters and we also believe it is important that customers are aware of the risk posed by electrical wiring and appliances within the property.
Ideally solar panels should be shut down and people with batteries should consider moving them above expected flood levels. This is a job for a qualified electrician.
Reconnection of electricity supply after flooding may take some time. Properties impacted by flood waters will require a certificate from a qualified electrician to confirm it would be safe to restore power.
Keep up to date with outages affecting your property
If you own a property in the predicted flooding zone, we recommend you keep up to date on power outages by signing up to our free notification system. Sign up to receive free SMS or email notifications for when the power is out at your property.