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Saturday, July 13, 2024

CAPE STORM: Thousands of homes flooded as rivers burst their banks

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Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says more than 70 neighbourhoods have been badly affected by flooding caused by the heavy persistent rain.


The City is being inundated by calls from residents about flooded roads and homes. Hill-Lewis says more than 7000 structures, in mainly informal settlements, have also been flooded thus far.


ALSO READ: Thousands affected as WC hit by gale force winds, heavy rain and snow


Hill-Lewis visited Du-Noon earlier to oversee the unblocking of storm water drains. It comes as two rivers have burst their banks – the Eersteriver and the Liesbeek River.


Hill-lewis says they expect more rivers and canals to burst their banks in the coming hours, with rain set to continue until at least Friday.


With a Orange Level 6 warning for disruptive rain currently in place, the South African Weather Service has issued a fresh Level 8 warning for disruptive rain, which is valid for Thursday.



The Level 8 warning is for the City of Cape Town, Drakenstein and Stellenbosch, with heavy rain that could result in more widespread flooding and mud slides, with soil saturation levels already at its peak.


The 24-hour rainfall accumulations of 40 to 60mm are expected on Thursday, reaching 80 to 100mm in mountainous areas.


ALSO READ: More weather warnings as storms batter the Western Cape


The City’s Roads Department is working to address any blockages of the stormwater system, to alleviate the pressure on the roads. However, the sheer amount of rain that has fallen has been a complicating factor.



In terms of humanitarian relief, assessments are ongoing to determine the number of people affected.


A number of humanitarian relief agencies are assisting with soft relief, including Gift of the Givers, Ashraful Aid, Islamic Relief, The Workshop, the Mustadafin Foundation and Alimdaad, in the following areas:


Khayelitsha, Lwandle, Nomzamo, Gugulethu, Philippi, Masiphumelele, Philippi East, Mfuleni, Tafelsig and Vygieskraal.


The Gift of the Givers’s estimates more than 20 000 people have been affected by the stormy weather since the weekend.



Meanwhile, the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre is geared to handle increased call volumes due to the inclement weather.


The public has been reminded that the service is for potential life-threatening emergencies, and that general service requests will be redirected to the appropriate City channels for actioning.


When calling the PECC, the call taker will ask a series of questions to help ensure that the correct emergency services are dispatched as quickly as possible.


It is important to have as much information as possible, including:


• Sharing your name and contact number, in case the call drops
• The incident location (cross street or landmark)
• A brief description of what is happening/happened


The PECC can be contacted for all life- or property-threatening emergencies by dialling 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.


Liesl Smit
Liesl Smit
Liesl is the Smile 90.4FM News Manager. She has been at Smile since 2016, with nearly 20 years experience in the radio industry, including reading news, field reporting and producing. In 2008 she won the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award, Western Cape region. liesl@smile904.fm

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