Wind and rain warning for Western Cape as more than 6,000 residents grapple with flooding

  • The SA Weather Service has issued a wind and rain warning for the Western Cape.
  • Winter storms and torrential rain continued to sweep through the county.
  • Homes in different areas were affected by the stormy weather.

The South African Meteorological Service (SAWS) warned of strong winds, with possible winds of up to 100 kph over parts of the North, West and East Cape as of Tuesday evening, as well as disrupting rain in Cape Town and Cape Winelands.

Anton Briddle, responsible for local government, environmental affairs and development planning, said there was an orange storm level 8 warning, indicating wind strength, which can be expected through Thursday.

“SAWS warns that strong northwesterly winds, with strong gusts of wind (100-140 km/h), can be expected over the interior of the county, as well as along the coastal areas between Alexander Bay and Seldanha,” he said. in the current situation.

He said the last time the territory received an orange wind warning was in 2017, before the Knysna bushfires.

“Cape Town is expected to lose the worst of the wind. However, SAWS has issued a level 6 orange alert for rainfall in the city, conditions that are expected to remain until Thursday evening.”

Extensive damage to formal and informal settlements as well as disruption of basic services is likely.

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“Traveling across the county over the next couple of days will be increasingly difficult and high-sided vehicles may be at risk of being knocked over by crosswinds. This is a concern on all major highways, including the N1, N7 and N14.”

Conditions at sea and in smaller coastal ports can be equally difficult and dangerous, Briddle says. “We urge people to take precautions and, in the event of an emergency, reach out to disaster response teams who remain on standby.”

As winter storms and torrential rain continue in Cape Town, some 6,300 people have been affected by local flooding.

Local flooding was expected to intensify in low-lying areas of Cape Town over the next few days.

Bridle said:

In the central and eastern parts of the metro, more than 2,500 buildings – including structures erected illegally in wetlands and rainwater ponds – were submerged.

In the northern parts of the metro, he said, an assessment found 3,250 buildings were flooded, with an estimated 6,300 people affected.

“More assessments are continuing in the regions, including Strand and Mfulini,” he added.

Briddle said large amounts of rain were measured across the county, including 71 mm in Gelbeek on the west coast and 55 mm in Ceres.

“However, a lot of rain has fallen and is still falling in the metro area. Cape Town and its partners are already providing support to the affected communities. This includes providing milling, hot meals and blankets to the affected communities.”

The Cape Town Disaster Risk Management Center said on Tuesday it is assessing flood-prone areas via the metro.

Dwellings have been affected in Gugulethu, Weinberg, Valhalla Park, Khayelitsha, Hot Bay, Masivumulili and Overcome Heights.

The city said its assessment found that the majority of the flooded areas were on land unsuitable for habitation, such as wetlands, waterlogged areas and illegally occupied private land.

Member of the Municipal Committee on Safety and Security JB Smith said:

More than 70% of the newly occupied areas, mostly as a result of large-scale organized illegal occupation since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown of 2020, have been created on unsuitable land prone to flooding, dams and water retention ponds.

“There are no reasonable engineering flood mitigation measures that can be successfully implemented in these cases, due to the nature of the land that is prone to flooding. Assessments are ongoing and the City will continue to provide assistance where possible.”

Smith said the South Australian Social Security Agency has been informed to assist with humanitarian relief efforts.

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The authorities stressed that the majority of the areas, which were identified as high-risk areas for flooding at the beginning of the year, were not among the affected areas.

“This shows that interventions by various city departments to reduce flooding, which have been implemented since last year, have had some success,” Smith said.

The city added that due to Covid-19 precautions, those affected will not be housed in community facilities.

Smith also said that due to revised Covid-19 regulations, there were fewer staff on duty, causing incidents to be delayed.

The city encouraged residents to call the Public Emergency Call Center on 107 from a landline or 021480 7700 from a mobile phone for any weather-related emergencies.

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