42,000 Australians in blackout

There are still 42,000 homes without power in South Australia after gale force winds tore through the state on Saturday.

Wind gusts of over 100 kilometres-an-hour have been recorded in various locations and the State Emergency Service is warning people to be careful on the roads.

Earlier, around 59,000 houses were in blackout but ETSA Utilities say they managed to restore power to 17,000 homes across the state on Saturday night.

Some residents will not have their power reconnected until tomorrow morning.

ETSA communications manager Sue Filby says the gale force winds that hit Adelaide at around 2.30pm significantly affected repair operations.

“The weather conditions certainly haven’t helped with our restoration efforts and we will have some customers both in the metropolitan area and the country who will be off overnight,” she said.

The State Emergency Service is also expecting an increase in emergencies.

Communications manager Tara Richmuller earlier said they had received over 1,000 calls since midnight on Friday.

“This number is expected to increase now that the very strong winds have hit the metropolitan area,” she said.

The destructive winds are expected to ease on Saturday night.

SES state duty officer Bob Stevenson says people need to be extremely careful if they must drive.

“There’s water on roads in a number of places and trees and tree limbs down, so just to be extremely careful if they need to drive,” he said.

“If they have a choice it’s probably not a good idea to be driving around today.”

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