Australia

South Australia storm: Blackout hits entire state

Police directing traffic at a junction Image copyright Twitter/@Mus1ih

The entire state of South Australia has been left without electricity after a powerful storm struck the region. It affected everything from the emergency services to mobile phones and travel.

Residents were warned it could take some time to restore power, which was cut in the middle of the afternoon when the network went down.

In Adelaide all local train services were cancelled and drivers were left without traffic lights.

Image copyright Twitter/@CuttheChicane

At busy junctions, police officers were drafted in to direct the traffic to prevent the city centre becoming gridlocked.

Image copyright @brittaaahhny

The South Australia police commissioner declared a "major incident" in the state and people were asked to stay at home if possible.

All flights out of Adelaide airport were temporarily grounded, leaving passengers unsure of how long they would be stranded.

Image copyright Twitter/@SMSFCoach

Liam Shorte, who was hoping to fly to Sydney, tweeted to say: "Oops, lights gone out in #Adelaide Airport. Hope my flight can still leave in 90 mins."

He later said his flight had been scheduled to depart but added: "All boarding tickets had to be printed or handwritten as apps and readers all failed."

The loss of power was not the only effect of the storm as it crossed the city. Adelaide investment adviser Jed Richards tweeted that he had seen lightning starting a fire in North Adelaide.

Image copyright Twitter/@jrichar1

It is thought it might take 24 hours to fully restore power to all South Australia's 1.67 million residents.

Some had a difficult journey home including director Emma Berry who tweeted a picture of flooded streets in her neighbourhood.

Image copyright Twitter/@_emieem

SA Power Networks, which operates the electricity system in the state, said that it believed the problem started when its infrastructure in the Port Augusta area was damaged in the storm.

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