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Floods still threaten north of Adelaide

AAP logoAAP 29/09/2016 Tim Dornin

The threat of major flooding still hangs over the Gawler region, north of Adelaide, with rivers swollen by more than two days of heavy rain nearing their peak.

Warnings have been issued for communities along the Gawler and North Para Rivers, though widespread property damage is thought unlikely.

After more than 100mm of rain across a wide area during storms on Wednesday and Thursday, floodwaters have been steadily moving towards the coast, inundating vineyards in the Barossa Valley and spreading across parks and scrub.

The State Emergency Service said areas most likely to be impacted included Hillier, Gawler River, Angle Vale, Penfield Gardens, Two Wells, Lewiston, Virginia, Port Gawler and Buckland Park.

People there were being urged to follow their flood emergency plans.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the Gawler River had reached a level of 7.59 metres, well above the major flood level of 7.3m.

The North Para River was also expected to peak on Friday afternoon, with the prospect of levels dropping over the weekend.

Minor flood warnings remained for the Onkaparinga catchment area, south of Adelaide, and for the Torrens River which runs through Adelaide's northern suburbs and into the city.

However, improving weather across the state allowed SA Power Networks to reconnect more properties after Wednesday's statewide blackout and ongoing issues with storm damage.

By Friday about 8000 people were still without services because of the network failure, mostly on the Eyre Peninsula.

Transmission company ElectraNet said ground crews were continuing to work on the line between Cleve and Port Lincoln to repair a fault west of Tumby Bay that only became evident during an earlier attempt to restore services.

It said some supply had been restored to Port Lincoln with the use of back-up generation and early indications suggested full supply might be possible at some stage on Friday.

Port Lincoln Mayor Bruce Green said much of the town, home to about 16,000 people, remained shut down.

"Most of the businesses have sent people home and haven't worked for a couple of days," he told AAP.

"It's not a great situation for the community to be in. Very difficult times."

After the two days of destructive weather, South Australia's cabinet hit the road on Friday, with ministers spreading across the storm-ravaged state to speak with locals affected by the wild weather.

"The cabinet is keen to get out on the ground...to talk face to face with their constituents," Police Minister Peter Malinauskas said

Mr Malinauskas visited Gawler and Greenock, Premier Jay Weatherill and Health Minister Jack Snelling headed to the Eyre Peninsula, Transport Minister Stephen Mulligan to the mid-north and Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis to Whyalla.

The state government has made $700 grants available to help people impacted by the storms and floods to cover immediate expenses and to assist with the clean-up.

Eight emergency centres have also been opened to offer shelter and support.

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