River levels rise over a park in Swan Reach with a sign and park bench now under water

‘That’s a lot of water’: Murray River’s daily flow could match city’s annual water use

South Australia will see a second, higher flood peak on the Murray River, with officials saying they now expect 185 gigalitres to flow per day during the second wave in late December.

The state government said two peaks are expected, one in early December and another higher in late December around Christmas.

While 185 gigalitres is the high probability, there is a moderate probability of 200 gigalitres and a lower probability of 220 gigalitres during the second peak.

Prime Minister Peter Malinauskas said a high probability of 175 gigalitres per day was still expected during the first peak in early December, with a low probability of 220 gigalitres per day falling to 200 gigalitres per day.

“So while there is good news about what we expect in early December, we are certainly on high alert for what will cross the border in late December,” Premier Peter Malinauskas said.

Residents of Greater Adelaide consume around 200 gigaliters of water per year.

“We are now faced with the prospect or the one that crosses the border every day in the Murray River,” he said.

“It’s a lot of water. It presents a lot of challenges.”

Four kilometers of DefenCell flood barriers were flown to Adelaide from Italy for dispatch to Riverland, and more than a million sandbags were recovered.

Up to 4,000 properties will be flooded

The reinforcements are part of a $4.8 million flood protection package announced Sunday.

However, Mr Malinauksas said up to 4,000 homes would still be flooded during peak flows.

Peter Malinauskas and Minister of Emergency Services Joe Szakacs meet SES staff as more sandbags arrive in South Africa.(ABC News)

“The combination of a large number of DefenCell products and now over a million sandbags gives us a lot of confidence that where we can make a difference with these materials, we have the capacity and the ability to do so,” Malinauskas said.

“But truth be told, of course, we can’t protect every home.

“We can’t get that much water across the border and protect every home, so we’re still working to get that 4,000 properties flooded as a result of those extra flows.”

Earlier this week the government declared a major emergency, giving Police Commissioner Grant Stevens additional powers to handle the flood crisis.

SES chief executive Chris Beattie said residents should act now and check the interactive maps available on the SES website to see if their property will be flooded.

He said those affected needed to know when they would leave their properties before it was too late.

“This could be due to road closures in your area, power outages, sewer leaks, or even water flooding onto the floor, but it’s important that you determine early and at the advance when you are going to leave,” Mr Beattie said. .

He said a seawall being constructed to protect Renmark Paringa District Hospital has been completed and there are a number of other seawalls in the area currently under construction.

Sewage will be removed from Riverland homes

SA Water’s Nicola Murphy told ABC Radio Adelaide that around 150 homes would be disconnected from sewerage services by December 9, with another 100 homes also being disconnected.

SA Power Networks last week warned that around 2,000 properties would be disconnected from power in the coming weeks, with some homes and shacks already disconnected.

Murray River water levels rise to huts
Provided: Swan Reach Museum(Provided: Swan Reach Museum)

Ms Murphy said SA Water was working with affected residents to find suitable alternatives, including the use of portaloos and camp toilets.

“Anything we can do to help these residents, we will do, and that’s something we’re working with these people as they make their decisions right now to stay in their homes or maybe move during the crisis. flooding period,” she said.

“What we have to think about is the total capacity of our system to cope with the additional volume of water coming into it and our pump stations being able to pump that and we are trying to make sure that we maintain as many services as possible for as many customers as possible for as long as possible.

“By isolating a small part of the network in this way, we seek to protect the rest of the network and maintain these services.”

Ms Murphy said SA Water was also working to prevent sewage from entering flood waters.

Access to health services will be “difficult”

Residents and visitors to the Riverland are also urged to plan ahead for their health needs as road closures loom.

A woman wearing a purple and white blazer and purple shirt stands in front of news microphones
Dr. Michelle Atchison urges residents and visitors to Riverland to plan their health care. (ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

Australian Medical Association SA president Michelle Atchison said mosquito-borne viruses were also a concern.

“If you have any scripts that you need for the next few months, go get them filled in now, if you need a vaccine for your Japanese encephalitis virus, go do it now because in the next few weeks, health services are going to be stretched because people are going to use them, but they are also going to be difficult to access,” she said.

“There are a lot of drugs we can do telehealth, but we can’t give you a virus injection telehealth, so there are some things you need to start planning now.”

She urged people to stock up on insect repellent before supplies start to run out.

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