Weather News

Strong winds, heavy rain and dust sweeping across SA trigger Code Blue for rough sleepers

Monday June 7, 2021 - 11:41 EST
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Dust obscures the view of Adelaide's CBD from Adelaide Airport. - ABC

Extra homelessness support services will be open to people sleeping rough in Adelaide tonight as a cold front brings chilly temperatures and whips up dust as it crosses the state.

A Code Blue activation will see Housing SA provide extra accommodation tonight, with the Baptist Care Westcare Centre and Hutt Street Centre extending their opening hours.

"Wild and woolly conditions, including a forecast 'Antarctic blast' moving across South Australia has triggered a state-wide Code Blue response for people sleeping rough from tonight," the SA government said.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has extended its severe weather warning for damaging winds to large parts of the state, with gale and strong wind warnings issued for most of the state's coastal waters.

The State Emergency Service (SES) is urging motorists to drive to the conditions with windy weather expected to hit the state over the next 48 hours.

Winds are predicted to average around 40-60 kilometres per hour, with gusts up to 90kph, as a strong cold front moves across the state.

"The highest recorded gust so far is 91kph at Hindmarsh Island," the BOM said earlier.

Locations likely to be affected include Adelaide, Port Lincoln, Mount Gambier, Mount Barker, Victor Harbor, Maitland, Murray Bridge, Kingscote and Naracoorte. 

Adelaide was forecast to receive up to 15 millimetres of rain on Monday and up to 20 millimetres on Tuesday, with possible small hail. 

Areas of raised dust could be hazardous to motorists and to people's health, with SES State Duty Officer Dave O'Shannessy urging people to take care on the roads.

"This means slowing down when the visibility is poor, making sure your headlights are turned on, and allowing plenty of stopping distance between yourself and vehicles in front," he said. 

"It could also mean pulling over, putting on hazard lights, and parking well off the road until the dust has passed.

"In a worst-case scenario, the visibility may be down to just a few metres." 

SA Health's Scientific Services Director David Simon said anyone with heart or chest conditions should stay inside until the dust has settled. 

"Exposure to high levels of dust can aggravate conditions such as asthma, emphysema, bronchitis or other respiratory illnesses," he said.

"People who have asthma should have an asthma action plan and carry their reliever medications at all times, even when they are feeling well." 

The SES has advised residents to secure loose items around their homes, including outdoor furniture, garden tools and children's play equipment and to park vehicles under cover and well away from trees. 

The Department for Infrastructure and Transport has advised that the Granite Island Causeway at Victor Harbor has been closed to all pedestrians and vehicles, including the horse-drawn tram due to winds expected to exceed 100kph. 


© ABC 2021

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