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Water donation a "godsend" for Adelaide’s homeless

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Grabbing a bottle of water on a hot day doesn’t warrant a moment of thought for most of us – but for Adelaide’s homeless a drink can make a big difference as temperatures reach record levels.

That’s why a surprise donation of bottled water is such a big deal to frontline homelessness care agency the Hutt Street Centre.

After making a public plea on Facebook, Ian Cox and his team were delighted yesterday to receive a huge shipment of bottled water from Rite Price groceries, which they will spend all week handing out to Adelaide’s most vulnerable.

“Our group are obviously struggling, it’s just a really tough time at the moment, we’re just getting through things daily,” Cox, the centre’s CEO, told InDaily this morning.

“We’re just trying to make sure we’ve got enough water and even things like ice blocks, things that will keep people cool.

“Generally we have to purchase [bottled water]. We were really lucky yesterday. We had one of the staff put something on Facebook and we got a big shipment of water come in from Rite Price, which is fantastic.

“That’s been a bit of a godsend for us as well. Those things are just so critical, you just need to keep giving the client group lots of water. And keep encouraging them to if they’re sleeping rough just to access some of those public spaces – libraries, shopping centres, because they’re often the coolest place.”

Adelaide sweltered through 45C on Tuesday, just one degree short of its all-time high of 46.1C set on January 12, 1939.

The temperature is expected to hit 45C again on Wednesday and get even hotter over the next few days.

SA Health said that 33 people had gone to Adelaide hospitals yesterday for heat-related conditions, while 13 people in country SA were hospitalised.

Severe fire danger ratings have been declared across the state.

Leigh Miller from the CFS said firefighters were stretched, with about 350 blazes burning at one stage.

Most fires were sparked by lightning strikes and at least 14 grassfires are still burning on Wednesday.

“We have not really seen the worst of the weather yet,” he told ABC Radio.

Friday was a potentially very bad day, with significant winds predicted in very high temperatures.

The CFS is at a number of fires, including one at Flaxmans Valley Road, Wilton in the Barossa Valley.

The fire is now contained, but a large number of burning trees might pose a risk of the fire escaping control lines.

Other fires are burning on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula near Delamere, while the Rockleigh fire is still out of control.

–          With AAP

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