/ 25 September 2023

Western Cape battered by severe weather

Wc Storm1

The City of Cape Town has opened one sluice gate at its Wemmershoek Dam to mitigate downstream flooding while two surrounding rivers, the Lourens River and Eerste River, have burst their banks as the Western Cape battles inclement weather.

On Sunday, the South African Weather Service upgraded its level six warning to level nine in expectation of severe weather in areas including Overberg, Garden Route and southern parts of the Cape Winelands districts. 

The high level warning prompted the Western Cape premier, Alan Winde, to announce that the provincial disaster management centre had been placed on high alert.  

On Monday, four people were rescued and taken to the local fire station after they were trapped in their house in Strand following heavy rainfalls on Sunday evening. 

Kevin Jacobs of Cape Town traffic services confirmed an incident where a Golden Arrow bus overturned on Jakes Gerwel Drive causing road closures between Klipfontein and Turfhall roads. The extent of injuries have not yet been determined. 

Elsewhere, the Bot River bridge on the R43 has been severely damaged and road closures have been put in place. 

The city announced several road closures due to widespread flooding and trees that have been uprooted by strong winds. 

Road closures are in place on major tourist routes including Hemel and Aarde Valley on the R320 outside Hermanus and Clarence Drive on the R44. 

Uprooted trees have been reported in Hout Bay, Rondebosch, Macassar, Durbanville, Kuilsriver and Woodstock. 

Motorists are advised to avoid crossing high and exposed bridges and to be cautious in areas impacted by high wind speed such as mountainous areas and roads that run under power lines. 

Weather-related emergencies can be directed to the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre on 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.