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Flood warning alerts remain for failing dams in Hills and south

Two private dams considered at “high risk” of failing continue to be monitored by emergency services as residents remain on alert for possible flooding.

The 'high risk' dam at Hope Forest. Courtesy Ten News First

The 'high risk' dam at Hope Forest. Courtesy Ten News First

The State Emergency Service kept overnight watch on the dams at Basket Range in the Hills and Hope Forest 40km south of Adelaide, after issuing watch and act alerts to residents over the weekend.

Flood watch and act alerts were issued again for both dams on Monday morning.

#FLOOD Watch and Act MESSAGE issued for dam failure at Basket Range. If you are in this area you should prepare for flooding. Move valuables to a safe place. Consider going to a safer place if the path is clear. More info: https://t.co/hLxSyumBkV

— SASES (@SA_SES) June 26, 2023

The SES first issued the Hills dams warning on Sunday, saying there was a “high risk of a dam failure in Basket Range which may threaten you and your family’s safety”.

In a later alert on Sunday, the SES said that “low lying properties may be impacted on Lobethal Road along Deep Creek towards Knotts Hill Road. Road closures are in place”.

“The risk has reduced for properties along Deep Creek from Lobethal Road towards Elborough Avenue.”

Lobethal Rd was closed and residents near the advised areas warned to prepare their family and home for flooding.

LOBETHAL RD, BASKET RANGE

Lobethal Rd is closed between Ashton and Basket Range due to a potential dam failure.

Get the latest traffic info live at https://t.co/TEOjjY7WMR pic.twitter.com/94IUXvufTI

— SA Infrastructure & Transport (@DFIT_SA) June 25, 2023


Emergency services remain on alert at Hope Forest 40km south of Adelaide, where the SES first raised the alarm on Saturday night.

Further warnings were issued on Sunday and again on Monday morning.

This is the dam in Hope Forrest threatening to collapse. They estimate it holds roughly 22 million litres. There’s a number of houses in the path if it does fail and the SES says there’s really not much they can do. @10NewsFirstAdl pic.twitter.com/2xE5WSeBpt

— Jase Kemp (@jasetaylorkemp) June 25, 2023

The SES said that “there is a high risk of a dam failure in Hope Forest which may effect properties near the intersection of  Road, Phillips Road and Verrall Road, as well as, in the vicinity of Brookman and Decaux Roads which may threaten you and your family’s safety”.

Road closures continue at two locations where heavy rain has threatened dams to burst. The more serious problem is at Hope Forest where residents are on high alert to leave if necessary. A leaking dam on private property at Basket Range also puts nearby residents at risk. #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/ZkGKCnZlgv

— 7NEWS Adelaide (@7NewsAdelaide) June 25, 2023

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Road closures remain in place for Bevan Road, Verrall Road, Phillips Road, Brookman Road and Decaux Road.

#FLOOD Watch and Act MESSAGE issued for dam failure at Hope Forest. If you are in this area you should prepare for flooding. Move valuables to a safe place. Consider going to a safer place if the path is clear. More info: https://t.co/IDeSXrwRQ2 ID:536/4

— SASES (@SA_SES) June 24, 2023

Residents are being urged to monitor weather conditions and warnings, follow emergency plans and prepare for flooding.

BROOKMAN RD, HOPE FOREST

Brookman Rd remains closed at Philips Rd due to a potential dam failure. Detour via Range Rd and Pottery Rd.

Get the latest traffic info live at https://t.co/TEOjjY7WMR pic.twitter.com/TJ9N1cnXT2

— SA Infrastructure & Transport (@DFIT_SA) June 25, 2023

SES Chief of Staff Derren Halleday said on Sunday that both the Hope Forest and Basket Range dams had been inspected by structural engineers.

“As well as the engineer reports, we have personnel physically on-site monitoring and inspecting the dams and their immediate surrounds and we are also working closely with the Department for Environment and Water,’’ he said.

“Highly trained SES Remotely Piloted Aircraft personnel have captured drone footage of the dams which will greatly assist us in determining the best way forward.’’

Halledy said that recent rains had played a “contributing factor to the risk profile of both dams”.

“We encourage the regular inspection of privately owned dams and people can visit ses.sa.gov.au for information on emergency dam maintenance,’’ he said.

“As a result of the potential of flooding, SES personnel conducted a door knocks over the weekend to advise residents of the situation and provide them with information.

“As a result we understand three residents – two from Hope Forest and one from Basket Range – have chosen to voluntarily relocate.”

The SES asked anyone with concerns or who needed help to call 132 500 and to monitor SES social media channels for the latest updates and warnings.

Last September, some residents of the Adelaide Hills town of Echunga were evacuated due to fears that a nearby farm dam would collapse and indundate properties.

Heavy rains and high winds on Thursday and Friday saw an Aldgate home flooded, roads closed and thousands of homes blacked out.

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