Malinauskas, Szakacs I Australian Rural and Regional News

The deputy. Peter Malinauskas, Premier of South Australia, Hon. Joe Szakacs, Minister for Emergency Services (SA), Joint Press Release, November 19, 2022

1.5 million sandbags and nearly 8km of flood barriers have been secured by the South Australian government to help protect flood-affected Murray River communities.

Three kilometers of DefenCell barriers from India arrived in Adelaide on Saturday November 19 and another four kilometers of product are expected to arrive on November 28 from Italy. A resupply of 200,000 sandbags will arrive in Adelaide on November 24.

Further deliveries of 25,000 will also be received that day and another 168,000 will be delivered by November 30 via road freight.

Prior to the delivery of the additional sandbags, the State Cabinet will travel to Riverland on Tuesday to hold meetings with all relevant River Murray councils regarding flood plans and risk mitigation strategies.

The state government has committed $4.8 million for flood defense resources. This exceeds the $3 million already committed for the dike restoration work.

DefenCell barriers will be deployed to provide security for critical infrastructure and high value assets that are currently not protected by levees.

The additional sandbags will be on top of the 300,000 already deployed and on active duty in several council areas along the river.

The announcement comes amid an escalation in resources to mitigate flood damage, with current forecasts showing peak flows of at least 175 gigalitres per day by next month.

The increase in forecast flow from 165 gigalitres per day to 175 gigalitres per day is the result of heavy rainfall in the Murray Darling watershed over the past few weeks.

There remains a moderate chance of flows reaching 200 gigalitres per day and a less likely chance of reaching 220 GL/day.

Riverside communities should consider these updated numbers as part of their flood emergency preparedness. This includes consideration of potential road and ferry closures, power grid disruptions and reduced services.

Led by the South Australian State Emergency Service, state government agencies are working alongside councils, contractors, landowners and businesses to prepare the community for the high river levels that will should last until February.

Community meetings continue to take place in towns along the river, including Murray Bridge and Waikerie, with upcoming meetings being held in Norwood for Adelaide-based cabin owners as well as Meningie and Goolwa this week.

Additionally, community sandbag depots are open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Murray Bridge, Blanchetown, Mannum, Bowhill and Glossop. Contact details are available on the SES website.

SES encourages people to check their flood risk by accessing a new interactive flood mapping tool that allows property owners to enter their address and view flood patterns at different flow rates for their property. Access the tool here.

The SES also urges people to familiarize themselves with best practices for using sandbags with guides here.

Click here for more information on the status of ferries along the Murray River.

People wanting more information about the Murray River flooding can call the SA SES Flood and Storms Information Line on 1800 362 361 anytime.

Black water events in South Australia are always a probability and any fish kills seen in the wild should be reported to the FISHWATCH 24 hour hotline on 1800 065 522.

Now that the flow peaks at the critical gauge at Wakool Junction, the peak flow forecast will become more accurate. High speed maps, updated FAQs and new estimated arrival maps are available on the DEW website here.

Quotes attributable to Peter Malinauskas

We are doing everything we can to ensure that all possible resources are available for the communities of River Murray to prepare for flooding as quickly as possible.

These extra sandbags will help, but it must be recognized that sandbags will not be able to protect all properties.

With just two weeks before expected peak flows, the state government is acting as quickly and proactively as possible to minimize the risk to lives, businesses and homes.

I thank all state government agencies working around the clock to prepare for significant water flows.

Quotes attributable to Joe Szakacs

For many people, this will be the largest and most severe weather event you have ever seen, and our government is preparing to help as best it can.

It’s no secret that this event causes anxiety. We are committing a significant amount of money and resources to do whatever we can to help.

It is important that people stay alert and continue to prepare, especially those with low huts.

I urge people to visit the SES website for up-to-date information and to exercise extra caution when traveling around the district in the coming months.

Quotes attributable to SASES Managing Director Chris Beattie

All members of the River Murray community are encouraged to check their flood risk using SES’s new flood mapping tool available on the SES website.

DefenCell flood barrier technology is a game-changer for SES flood response and will help protect critical assets and infrastructure in River Murray communities.

With increased flows expected in the coming weeks, the deployment of DefenCell barriers to protect against flood waters will be a key mitigation tool.

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