Heavy rains lash southern Cape, roads closed

About 1 000 people have been evacuated from their homes and sections of the N2 near George has been closed, as heavy rains continued to pelt the southern Cape on Friday.

Eden district disaster official Gerhard Otto said the Red Cross was assisting with blankets and mattresses for those affected, mostly from low-income areas in Knynsa, Sedgfield and Plettenberg Bay.

He said the evacuations were a precautionary measure and nobody had been hospitalised.

Heavy water run-off led to the closure of the N2 between Sedgefield and Swartvlei, as well as the R62 near Harlem and Misgund, and these roads should not be used.

Motorists travelling from George to Port Elizabeth were advised to use the alternate route over the Outeniqua pass via the R62 and the R57 via Uniondale and Willowmore, but were warned that it was very muddy.

A further 100mm of rain is expected in the area in the next 24 hours.

Clean up

Meanwhile, in Johannesburg, clean-up operations were under way after a heavy storm left at least three people dead and caused traffic chaos in the area.

In New Canada, 122 people were trapped by floods as vehicles and a bus came to a standstill in high waters.

A young man was killed and two people injured when a tree was uprooted and landed on his car in Perth Road, Auckland Park, and at least two people were killed in lightning strikes — one in Northcliff and one in Randfontein on the West Rand.

Failed traffic lights also caused a severe traffic build-up during rush hour on Friday. – Sapa

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