Power was being slowly restored Wednesday in South Australia after a severe weather system knocked out power in the entire state of 1.7 million people.
The outage began at 3:50 p.m. Wednesday after 22 power-transmission lines and 22 towers across the state were knocked out by storms. This caused the entire system to shut down in order to protect itself, shutting down traffic lights, public transit, and other services in the state that’s larger in area than Texas in area.
“The system has behaved as it’s meant to behave to protect the national energy market,” Jay Weatherill, the South Australian premier, said. He said the state was hit by more than 80,000 lightning strikes, many hitting the power infrastructure. There were no deaths or injuries reported.
Adelaide, the state’s biggest city where the overwhelming majority of South Australians live, was the worst affected.
But by late Wednesday evening, SA Power Networks, the utility that earlier urged South Australians to “please brace for extended outages and ensure you conserve mobile device battery,” said it was in the process of restoring electricity to parts to the city.
We are in the process of restoring power to parts of the metro area as transmission supplies become avail. More updates to follow.— SA Power Networks (@SAPowerNetworks) September 28, 2016
Power to the entire state is expected to be restored by early Thursday. Huffington Post Australia reported that the state’s “backup base load generators are slowly repowering the system.”