South Australia to spend night without power as hail hits

SOUTH Australia is expected to weather the year's biggest storm without power as authorities say the state could wait up to eight hours for service to be restored.

Power across the state went down about 4.50pm this afternoon and it's expected to stay down until 4am this morning, according to a statement from SA Power Networks which is being forced to update the community via Facebook, 

"At this stage the estimated restoration time is around 4am. As further information is available we will update customers via our social media pages and our website," the power authority said in an updated post about 5.30pm.

"We can confirm we have lost upstream transmission supply. We understand this is frustrating and will provide updates here as they become available."

The news comes as residents take to social media to post footage of massive hailstones battering their streets. 

The Adelaide Advertiser reports traffic lights are down, roads choked and building fire alarms blaring across the state's capital city.

Emergency meetings are being held as power authorities try to ascertain what has caused the unprecedented electricity collapse.

The cause is reportedly a high voltage transition tower toppling during the severe weather. 

ABC reports a spokesman from SA Power as saying the cause of the problem was yet to be established. 

"We're obviously still trying to find … out but what has happened is that the whole state has been blacked out," SA Power spokesman Paul Roberts said. 

"That's due to some upstream issue with the transmission network, we're not receiving any supply through the transmission network.

"We believe - and this is only early information - that there may have been some issue with the interconnector but the state's power system is shut down I think possibly as a protection.

"It means we're not receiving any electricity supply from generators to be able to supply to generators."

Tonight is only the start of the storm with the system expected to move closer to the coast over coming days bringing with it more rain and wind gusts of up to 110km/h. 



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