The Western Cape Government has activated the Provincial Disaster Management Centre on Sunday afternoon after an update from the South African Weather Services confirmed that the storm over Sunday into Monday will be more severe than was previously communicated.
A level 6 Impact Warning for heavy rains has now been upgraded to a Level 9 Impact for torrential rains in parts of the Overberg, Cape Winelands, and spreading towards the Garden Route District on Monday.
The SA Weather Service has issued an orange level 9 warning for rain with isolated severe thunderstorms leading to widespread flooding/flash flooding,
mudslides and major travel disruptions in the Overberg and southern Cape Winelands from this
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At an emergency meeting Sunday, the Provincial Disaster Management Centre coordinated a proactive response strategy which included several national and provincial departments, the National Disaster Management Centre, the South African Weather Services, the National Defence Force, the Police Service, National Sea Rescue Institute, as well as district municipality disaster centres.
Local government MEC Anton Bredell said the cut off low storm system is expected to bring torrential downpours exceeding 100mm in places in the Overberg, Cape Winelands, and Garden Route districts.
“Our dams are full, and the soil is already saturated after good rains this winter. Such heavy downpours in a short space of time can lead to flash floods, mudslides, and general flooding of roads and residential areas. It is anticipated that the brunt of the storm will be experienced tonight, complicating potential rescue operations if needed.”
According to the Disaster Management Centre, there are several actions residents must consider during this storm:
- Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated with the latest weather reports through trusted local news platforms, radio alerts, and your local municipality’s social media pages. Follow instructions from authorities and be prepared to act accordingly.
- Secure Your Property: Take necessary precautions to protect your property and belongings. If still able and is safe, clear any debris or potential flying objects from your yard, secure loose items, and reinforce doors and windows.
- Evacuation Plans: If you live in an area prone to flooding or other hazards, get to a higher lying area,
- Stay Indoors and Take Shelter: During the storm, it is crucial to stay indoors and stay in a safe area of your home. Avoid windows and do not venture outside until authorities announce it is safe to do so.
- Power Outages: Be aware that power outages are possible during severe storms. Ensure you charge your devices while possible to ensure that you have a platform to stay informed.
- Avoid Flooded Areas: Do not attempt to cross flooded roads or walk or drive through standing water. Flooding can be deceptive and pose serious risks. Stay away from rivers, streams, and low-lying areas that are prone to flooding.
- Stay Connected: Keep in touch with your loved ones, friends, and neighbours, especially those who may require assistance. Check on vulnerable or elderly individuals to ensure their safety and well-being.
“Please take these warnings seriously and make the necessary preparations to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. The severity of this storm demands caution, attention, and proactive measures. Remember, your life and the lives of others are of utmost importance. Follow the instructions of local authorities and emergency services. Stay calm, stay safe, and look out for one another during this time.”
Rainfall accumulation is expected to be between 50 and 80mm over the Cape Town metropole.
The City of Cape Town says strong winds can also be expected to uproot trees, carry outside objects, furniture and loose gutters and roof tiles and cause damage to garage doors, sliding doors and windows.
The public is urged to secure and fix these objects and cover doors and windows.
It is also strongly advised to avoid travelling if possible at all.
If not, please ensure defensive driving at all cost:
- Avoid crossing high, exposed bridges
- Be cautious when overtaking trucks and large vehicles
- Be cautious in areas exposed to high winds such as open stretches of roads, tunnels through mountainous areas and roads that run under power lines
All relevant Departments are on high alert to deal with any impacts brought on by the forecast.
For those in the Metro, weather-related emergencies can be directed to the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre by dialling 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.