Southeast coast of Australia on high alert as superstorm continues

Almost the entire southeast coast of Australia has been on high alert as the worst weather in decades continues to cause destruction.

Severe weather warnings are in place for Victoria, NSW, ACT and Tasmania as of Friday morning.

On Friday the Bureau of Meteorology cancelled the severe weather warning for South Australia declaring the immediate threat to the state had passed.

It’s been warned the worst of the wild weather is still to come in the next 24 hours as the superstorm returns with a vengeance.


A man has been rescued by police after his car became trapped in floodwaters in South Australia.

The Volkswagen became trapped in floodwaters on Light Pass Rd in the Barossa Valley about 5.30am.

The Volkswagen became trapped in floodwaters about 5.30am Friday. Photo: 7 News.

Police needed to use a front end loader to rescue the man.

He was reportedly stuck in the car about an hour as police worked out how to get him out.

A SA Police officer reaches to rescue a man trapped in a car during floods in the Barossa Valley. Photo: 7 Newsw.

Footage showed an officer grabbing him by the hand and dragging him to safety in the middle of gushing floodwaters.

Adelaide and the rest of South Australia remained on edge on Thursday night as wild winds and rain lashed the city for a second straight day.

In what has been described as the biggest storm South Australia has seen in 50 years, thousands of residents without power as winds reached 140km/h in some regions.

A fallen powerline crushes a car in South Australia during the worst storm in 50 years. Photo: Twitter.

Twin tornadoes were blamed for Thursday’s chaotic weather in the state.

A flood emergency was declared for the town of Auburn, north of Adelaide, as a dam burst nearby.

On Friday the BOM lifted the severe weather warning for the state saying the worst had passed, however the cleanup was now underway.

Thousands remained without power for a second day in the Adelaide Hills as ferocious gusts lashed the region.

SA Power Networks had warned more homes could be left without power, with more than 10,000 homes affected so far.

The outages came after 22 toppled power poles crippled electricity supply to the entire state on Wednesday afternoon.

Flooding in Whyalla, SA. Photo: Facebook.

At the peak of the outage, SA Police advised on Twitter that Triple-0 services were down in isolated areas, and those who need assistance should attend their nearest hospital, police or fire station.

There were also warnings that water pumps and phone towers could run out of power.

SA Premier Jay Weatherill urged workers to head home early on Thursday. Photo: AAP

On Thursday Premier Jay Weatherill, as well as police and emergency bosses, took the extraordinary step of urging workers to head home before the next storm.

Late on Thursday the Bureau of Meteorology issued a moderate flood warning for the upper and middle Torrens, with more than 60mm of rain falling in just 36 hours.

"Minor flooding is likely along the Upper Torrens River above Gumeracha Weir," the BoM said. "The Torrens River at Birdwood is likely to reach the minor flood level early Friday morning.

Photo: AAP

"The Torrens River at Gumeracha Weir had initially peaked at 11.36 metres around 04:00 pm Thursday 29 September and is currently at 11.51 metres and rising.

The Torrens River at Gumeracha Weir is likely to peak near 11.70 metres early Friday morning."

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens and SES Chief Officer Chris Beattie reinforced the warnings as the storm reached Kangaroo Island, off the tip of the peninsula on which Adelaide sits.

"We are asking the community to be aware that we may see conditions this afternoon and evening potentially as bad, if not worse than yesterday," Commissioner Stevens said.

"I am recommending to people that if they can leave work early, they do so to avoid potential congestion on the metropolitan road network."

The political fall out has already started, with politicians insisting renewable energy targets were to blame, while Premier Jay Weatherill rubbished the claims, pointing to images showing 22 fallen transmission towers in the state's mid north.

He said nothing could have prevented the outage given the extremity of the storm.

But, nonetheless, pressure is mounting for a major inquiry into what went wrong, with Senator Nick Xenophon insisting a high level report had already suggested such a crisis was a risk.

By Thursday afternoon, more than 1000 calls for help had come from the Adelaide Hills alone since midnight, pushing emergency services to their limits.

A family of six at Aldgate was lucky to escape when a fallen gum almost cut their home in two. Another tree came crashing down at Rostrevor as SES strike teams from Western Australia were called in to help.

Few areas in the state were spared - even as far west as Ceduna where gusts up to 115kph brought wide spread damage, toppling more power lines and uprooting hundreds of trees.

The constant deluge hampered efforts at Greenock where there was a race against time to fill sandbags to protect against an overflowing dam.

The Onkaparinga River also burst its bank in several areas, bringing minor flooding and the risk of worse as the rain kept falling.


Forbes and Condobolin, two Central West towns already devastated by flooding, are preparing to endure heavy rains once more.

NSW was lashed overnight by heavy rains and damaging winds of up to 90km/h with more to come.

It’s predicted up to 20mm will fall on Friday and the rain is expected to continue in the state until Monday.

The Central West could be inundated by another peak of the Lachlan River.

Close to 50,000 sandbags have been transported to the towns with additional emergency crews called in.

Currently 100 properties remain the subject of an evacuation order.

Sydney is expected to be spared the worst of the weather however dangerous surf conditions have been predicted.

North Steyne, South Curl Curl, Collaroy, Mona Vale, Warriewood, Avalon and Whale Beach have been closed due to rough surf.


Power outages have been experienced in Tasmania’s northwest as winds and rains thrashed the state.

The deep low pressure system which came down on South Australia on Thursday is heading over Tasmania today.

Tasmanian Police warned drivers to watch for hazards and debris on the roads.


Gale force winds have already been experienced in VIC with parts of the state receiving 50mm of rainfall.

Melbourne city is expected to be spared from showers on Friday.

A severe weather warning has been issued and six flood warnings have been established across the state affecting western and central parts of Victoria.

A moderate flood warning was posted for the Loddon River.

Residents have been warned to brace for heavy rain across the Mallee and Wimmera regions.