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Severe weather warnings remain in place in South Australia’s flood-affected northern outback, as damage to vital infrastructure cuts off large areas from vital supplies.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned the deluge could continue throughout Monday night and into Tuesday morning for the communities of Marla, Coober Pedy, Roxby Downs, Leigh Creek, Moomba and Marree, with more storms expected to dampen the already flooded state on Wednesday.
Rains of up to 150mm could be recorded within 24 hours in isolated regions.
“Locally intense rainfall which may lead to dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding is also possible in the warning area,” the BoM warning read.
Weatherzone meteorologist Jessica Miskelly said a slow-moving low-pressure trough was to blame for the state’s four days of heavy rain.
“Severe storms are also likely over a broad area of South Australia on Wednesday, over already saturated ground that has received more than six times its average January rain in the last three days, up to 10 times in places,” Ms Miskelly said.
Six RAAF flights carrying 20 tonnes of food and supplies will land in the stricken region in the coming two days.
Coober Pedy resident Terry Brennan-Kuss said supplies had finally made their way to the outback town after flooded roads left supermarket shelves in the remote region bare and many residents struggling for food and medicinal supplies.
He said while the town remained largely flood-free, the RAAF deliveries were a welcome sight.
“We ran out of food basically,” Mr Brennan-Kuss said.
“No meat, no fresh vegetables, no bread, no toilet paper. We were running low on baby food, the pharmacy was out of insulin, so it’s been pretty dire.
“Roads were closed Monday. By Thursday it was looking very ordinary and by Friday it was all gone. No one was panic buying but it was just all gone.”
He said his wife had had to cancel a medical appointment in Adelaide and several others had been cut off from vital health care.
Mr Brennan-Kuss and his wife owns and operates a kangaroo orphanage and wildlife centre, and when roads were cut off, kangaroo milk supplies had to be flown in to feed their joeys.
“The biggest frustration has been as a wildlife orphanage we were going to have to transport kangaroos south, we haven’t been able to get milk to feed the joeys.
“We’re flying that in at huge expense and that was an issue for us personally.
“We’re expecting heavier falls tomorrow. This is a real blow to the businesses in the town to lose people passing through.”
Flooding has caused significant damage to South Australia’s rail lines, triggering supply shortages and disruptions as far away as Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Trains delivering goods are unable to travel north or west due to a total of 18 breaks in the rail line due to floods.
With wet weather expected to continue, the BoM warned South Australian residents to keep clear of creeks and storm drains and to stay indoors and away from windows while conditions are severe.
Residents are urged not to enter, or drive through floodwaters.