The ACT Government has today (Thursday, 6 January) provided an update on its response to the recent storm damage in the Territory as the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Canberra region.
Onsite at the ACT Rural Fire Service facility in Higgins, ACT Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry said it is important not to underestimate the resilience and kindness shown within the Canberra community after severe storms hit the region on the evening of Monday, 3 January.
Ms Berry hopes goodwill in the community will continue as the ACT Emergency Services Agency and Evoenergy continue storm recovery work during the coming days.
“As of 6 am this morning, there have been 863 requests for assistance, and 720 of those have already been completed and closed,” she said.
“I understand from Evoenergy that approximately 1665 homes and businesses remain without power. Our emergency services are working with our colleagues across the ACT to get everyone’s power back on as soon as they can.
“Because there are so many people still without internet access and electricity, if neighbours just pop in next door or if they have family nearby who can just check in and provide some of the information that’s being updated for the community I think that would be really helpful and well received.”
Ms Berry said Evoenergy expects some homes to be without power until late tomorrow, but cautioned it could take longer.
The ACT Rural Fire Service facility in Higgins will be open to provide charging stations, ice packs and a place to dispose of any food that may have been spoilt during the past three days.
Ms Berry encouraged Canberrans to “be as prepared as you possibly can be” with more storms set to hit the region in the coming days.
BOM says thunderstorms are possible – with varying likelihood levels – during the next three days, but becoming less likely heading into the weekend.
BOM engagement officer Morgan Pumpa said due to the nature of the storms, it is essential Canberrans continue to check the BOM website for updates on weather warnings in their area.
While the weather warning lists only heavy rainfall as the most likely result of the storm, after the recent hail event in the ACT, BOM is closely monitoring weather activity.
“[Hail] is not expected to happen,” said Ms Pumpa.
“However, if people are travelling around over the weekend, it’s good to check because there are parts of the Riverina and other areas around the ranges that could possibly see some hail.”
While the expectation is storm activity will ease by the middle of the weekend, it is predicted to return to the ACT region early next week.
“There is a bit of respite coming shortly, but the rain will return next week so we expect to see wetter weather at the moment because of the La Nina,” said Ms Pumpa.
“Again, that lowered position of the inland trough combined with the high-pressure system over the Tasman is bringing this wet weather, and we will see during the next week that it will hang around.”
During the next week, the temperature will remain in the mid-to-high 20s, peaking on Monday, 10 January, at 30 degrees Celsius.