Flooded roads in Wayville, in the wake of thunderstorms across Adelaide.
© Spence DennyFlooded roads in Wayville, in the wake of thunderstorms across Adelaide.
Wild storms have downed trees, flooded streets, damaged some homes and left thousands of others without power across Adelaide.

An inflatable whale was also swept down the River Torrens and other local Christmas decorations were plunged underwater, after metropolitan areas around the Adelaide Hills were hit with significant rainfall since Monday morning.

The Bureau of Meteorology's Jenny Horvat said the city had recorded above 50mm in parts, with Scotch College, south of the city, receiving 75mm of rain.

"[It is] quite a lot of rainfall in a short period of time," Horvat said. "So we have seen some local river rises, and some localised flash flooding ... and water heading straight down into the [River] Torrens."

"It is not one of those things happening every second day in November, but it can happen."

Severe thunderstorm warnings for heavy rainfall and damaging winds remained in place on Tuesday afternoon for the Adelaide metropolitan, Mount Lofty ranges, Riverland and Murraylands regions, as well as parts of Yorke peninsula, Mid North, Kangaroo Island, North East Pastoral, Flinders and Upper South East districts.

The South Australia SES state duty of officer, Brenton Clarke, said requests for flood assistance were the most common calls emergency services were receiving.

"From just after 6am, with this severe rainfall that's occurred ... the number of jobs has skyrocketed and we're now sitting on 161 requests for assistance," he told Adelaide radio 5AA.

Houses were being inundated by water coming across roads and through roofs, Clarke said, while wind gusts of 72km/h were recorded at Adelaide airport.

Flights were grounded until 8.30am after lightning strikes prevented staff from stepping on to the tarmac to load and refuel aircraft.

The airport was still working through a backlog of delays, Adelaide airport's executive general manager, Dermot O'Neill, said.

"We have seen some delays to those first flights going out, which has unfortunately caused some corresponding delays to those first flights coming in," he told ABC Radio.

Almost 5,000 customers were still without power as of 10.30am local time, down from 14,000 earlier in the morning.

Horvat urged locals to "tie things down" or "elevate them".

(More here)