Weather News

Wild storm downs trees and floods hospital in South Australia's South East

Tuesday June 8, 2021 - 06:32 EST
ABC image
Parts of the Kingston Soldiers' Memorial Hospital have been damaged and flooded. - ABC

People are mopping up after wild weather flooded a hospital at Kingston, ripped a roof off a pergola at a school in Naracoorte and downed trees across South Australia's South East overnight.

The fierce overnight storm hit areas stretching from Padthaway to Bool Lagoon.

Residents in Naracoorte, Kingston and Lucindale woke up to hail, fallen tree branches and building damage.

More than 2,000 residents in the Kingston area remain without power due to an unrelated vandalism attack.

According to the weather bureau, the strongest wind gusts, at 95 kilometres per hour, were recorded at the Naracoorte airport at 5:00pm yesterday.

The Kingston Soldiers' Memorial Hospital was among the many buildings damaged.

CFS Kingston Brigade Lieutenant One Meagan Robinson said it was fortunate residents in the hospital's aged care facilities were OK.

"We went to the hospital because the alarms were going off," she said.

Lieutenant Robinson said there had been about "two inches" of hail.

"It blocked up the gutters and the build-up came through the roof and caused part of the ceiling structure to collapse in the community health section of the hospital," she said.

?In the Elanora Wing, there was water dripping through the ceiling and it was flooded everywhere.

"It was actually devastating to see, [it was] a bit of a shock."

CFS regional duty officer Scott Murray said the flooding had triggered the alarm.

"In the community health and day parts of the hospital ? they?ve lost part of the ceiling in the building," he said.

"[Crews arrived to] find the ceiling had come down and there was water coming through the ceiling."

Weeks of work ahead

Lucindale farmer Patrick Ross described the wind associated with the storm as "absolutely incredible".

"A lot of blue gums, a lot of timber [are down] ? in our paddock, trees are down, trees over fences, over gateways."

Mr Ross said it would take a few weeks to complete the clean up.

"The clean-up just on the fences alone will take a couple of days," he said.

"In material costs, it will most likely be $4,000 to $5,000 and then there will be a labour input on top of that."

Matthew Tye, from the Mount Gambier Unit District State Emergency Service, said the wind was so strong it had removed a tin roof off a pergola at Naracoorte's Sunshine School.

He was urging caution with the ground soft due to the rain.

"We're expecting probably a couple of trees to come down over the next day or so," Mr Tye said.

"If it's safe to do so, park elsewhere.

"Don't park under trees at the moment. Just keep yourself safe and aware."


© ABC 2021

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