South Australia’s swollen River Murray is likely to have reached its peak daily flow rate after more than two months of flooding.
Authorities have predicted the high-water mark to reach about 190 gigalitres per day near Renmark, 250km northeast of Adelaide, over the Christmas break.
The forecast peak is lower than earlier projections but thousands of properties in the Riverland remain under threat of inundation in coming weeks, with authorities expected to provide a flooding update this morning.
Hundreds of residents have been evacuated from riverside communities and about 1000 homes have been impacted by the flooding that started in October.
More than a dozen levees have also failed and over 3000 houses and properties remain without power, with more disconnections expected.
All non-essential activity on the Murray has also been banned including boating, fishing and swimming, and multiple ferry services remain suspended.
Premier Peter Malinauskas said the peak would likely reach Mannum, 85 kilometres east of Adelaide, between January 7 to 10.
Pet owners urged to be mindful of heat
With those temperatures soaring around the country, the RSPCA is urging those with responsibility for animals to take extra precautions for their furry friends.
For domestic animals, the organisation advises:
Animals have access to shelter from the sun throughout the day, and be brought into air-conditioned spaces if possible (including rabbits and guinea pigs).
Multiple sources of water be available to them – add ice cubes if possible and ensure the containers cannot be tipped over.
Avoid transporting them in vehicles.
Do not leave them inside vehicles unattended under any circumstances, even if windows are down and vehicle is parked in shade.
Do not have dogs on the trays of utes or trucks.
Do not walk dogs during the heat of the day (if you cannot hold the back of your hand on the surface for five seconds, then it is too hot for your dog’s paws).
The RSPCA says extreme heat puts animals at severe risk of suffering heat-related health issues.
The organisation is also encouraging people to support wildlife through the heat by placing shallow bowls of fresh, clean water in shady locations. If using a large container, place a rock in the water so small animals can climb out.
Southern summer heatwave set to peak
More details from AAP on that heatwave expected to peak today…
Adelaide is tipped for a maximum of 40C, while Melbourne is expecting a top of 37C for day two of the Boxing Day Test.
Canberra will also see the mercury pass 30C after dipping to 13C overnight and Perth can expect a high of 27C.
Sydney is headed for a top of 28C in the city, with temperatures over 30C in the city’s west.
Heatwave conditions are expected to ease on Wednesday and Thursday following the passage of a cool change.
The heatwave hitting southern Australia is set to peak today with conditions only easing from tomorrow. Heatwave warnings have been issued for Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania as temperatures soar 8C to 16C above average.
Adelaide is expected to reach a maximum of 40C, while Melbourne is tipped for a top of 37C for day two of the Boxing Day Test.
In South Australia a statewide code red has been activated to support homeless and elderly people. From 9am this morning until the same time Thursday, Baptist Care’s Westcare Centre and Toward Home the Resolve Team will open their doors to those sleeping rough while the Red Cross will be providing welfare checks for the elderly and isolated South Australians.
Staying in South Australia, flood warnings remain in place for Riverland communities. At Renmark, the State Emergency Service say flood waters have peaked. The community of Bolto are still sheltering in place as flooding has cut roads.
Further north, a severe weather warning remains in place for the Northern Territory across parts of the Barkly and Simpson districts.
Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie is bringing rainfalls up to 150mm for some areas, potentially causing flash flooding.
The Sydney to Hobart and Boxing Day test continue with a second day of competition. Andoo Comanche is in the lead of the yacht race.
Let’s get going!