I’ve lived in Adelaide most of my life. I do not remember a year with such bad weather as 2016. May 9 was a pretty big storm. I remember the power cut and getting home getting absolutely blown along in the wind. There wasn’t so much rain then.
Then there was Tuesday July 26. I remember the wet and wild storm blowing a piece of metal over the electric train line wires near Lonsdale and knocking out the electric trains. Houses were damaged by the torrential rains and strong winds. Later that week, I remember getting home on the Friday and sitting in the dark as power was out. It came back intermittently.
Friday 19 of August. More storms knocking out the electrical supply, another evening in the dark.
Today. September 28, 2016.one of the worst storms on record, knocked out power to the entire state because a high voltage power line in the mid north of South Australia was knocked out. Adelaide Airport unable to operate fully. Planes couldn’t leave. The Adelaide CBD was (is at time I’m writing this) gridlock, buildings’ emergency backup alarms running, traffic lights couldn’t work, people were stuck in elevators, the air flow controls at the railway station couldn’t work so…..trains had to be cancelled. Retailers lost business. Restaurants lost countless amounts of food. Supermarkets operated with torches and supplied essentials to those in need. Emergency services stretched. As the local news paper said “State of Chaos”.
Funny really, cos a few years ago, electricity supply and state action plans were pretty good. Even with terrible weather, the power stayed on. The last statewide blackout I remember being really bad was in 1999, in December when a single fitting broke and disconnected power. I was down at Magic Mountain in Glenelg. I remember the emergency alarm going off. I remember the following Monday seeing the news when he politicians of the day said that backups and contingencies would be put in place to prevent a blackout like this happening again. That was in the old ETSA days on SA. Now we have SA power networks. Owned by Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings. From what I understand via our electricity bills that are pretty high we are paying for the upkeep of the power network. And despite these storms (and there are an unusually high amount happening in 2016) I personally don’t think that the network has never been more unreliable. But what do I know. I’m just a consumer. An end user. Who is miffed by all the outages we’ve been having when previously we had a really good service.
Back on these storms. Seriously why are they happening so much in 2016? Don’t get me wrong, I find watching a good lightning show a lot of fun, but, compared to the past few years, there is a bit of a change in weather patterns happening. The rainfall this year has been huge. The winds stronger than in my memory.
I was always a little sceptical about climate change. I’m like that with things I don’t fully understand or that tend to get communicated to us via the media with a scare factor. But now I’m a believer. I think climate change is happening because I’m seeing it in my own state. Scary. I’m going to look to be more environmentally friendly myself.
My thoughts for the day.