Rain drenches city

ON CALL: The State Emergency Service is prepared for any storm related weather incidents in coming months. Picture: TODD LEWIS

AFTER one of the driest starts to winter on record in the South East, the past week had produced the most rainfall since March earlier this year.

Tuesday and Wednesday saw 33mm rain in Mount Gambier, which is 11mm more than the total rainfall for June and also the biggest downpour since 50mm fell on March 21.

Severe weather warnings were issued for the region on Tuesday, however emergency services still remained quiet during this period.

Mount Gambier State Emergency Service (SES) unit manager Simon Poel said his crews have only been called out to one storm related incident, which occurred on Wednesday morning.

“We only did one job, where a tree fell and blocked a driveway, but otherwise the wind and rain have not really had an impact,” Mr Poel said.

“It is nice to be able to sit back and watch it all.”

Despite a quiet start to the stormy season, Mr Poel said his crews are under no illusions and are always ready to respond.

“We usually average around 150 storm related call-outs a year and we have only reached around a third of that number,” Mr Poel said.

“Our troops are ready, our equipment has been serviced and we are expecting it to get a bit busier, but we obviously hope it doesn’t.”

According to climate outlooks released by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), the SES might be fortunate, with dry weather expected to continue.

“Higher than average mean sea level pressure is anticipated over southern Australia from July to September, which is likely to keep frontal systems and lows further south than usual, and reduce cloudiness over land,” a BOM spokesperson said.

The outlooks predict the chances of exceeding the median rainfall of 300mm for those months in the region is less than 30pc.

Despite this, Mr Poel said residents should still be prepared for stormy weather as it only takes one bad day to cause problems.

“Check your gutters to make sure no toys are stuck in them blocking the down pipes,” Mr Poel said.

“It is also important to make sure trees are away from homes and they are inspected to make sure there are not branches that are at risk of falling on cars or property.”

Mr Poel said if people do experience storm damage, they should call 132 500 and the SES will respond.

“It will come through our pager and we have crews ready to go, so we will get their as quickly as possible,” he said.