The worst rain in 45 years has been falling over the town of Stellenbosch in recent days. According to the Stellenbosch Municipality, they have seen unprecedented rainfall across the region. They have reported localised flooding in many areas across the region.
Worst rainfalls in 45 years
According to experts, the region has not seen such heavy and continuous downpours in around 45 years. Executive Mayor Gesie van Deventer says:
Due to these heavy downpours, many roads in the municipal area were partially or completely flooded and were closed yesterday, 14 June
She added, “Most roads are however currently open and cleaning crews are attending to mopping-up operations. The Franschhoek Pass is currently closed to traffic and motorists are advised to make use of alternative routes.”
Many roads flooded
At the same time, there were reports that the electricity supply to the Pniel and Johannesdal area was interrupted yesterday due to storm damage. It was however fully restored by yesterday afternoon.
MORE ABOUT: Stellenbosch Municipality
At this stage, there are still areas in Wemmershoek and De Hollandsche Molen without electricity. This, as the electricity infrastructure is still submerged and the municipality’s electricians are waiting for water levels to subside before reinstating the supply says Deventer:
Our teams are truly working day and night to repair damaged infrastructure and clear debris so that life can return back to normal for our residents
A spokesperson for the Municipality, Stuart Grobbelaar, says an Emergency Joint Operations Centre (JOC) has been established at their Municipal Control Room in the early hours of yesterday (Wednesday, 24 June). This is to handle all requests for assistance.
Emergency Joint Operations Centre
Relief efforts will be coordinated from a central place at the JOC. People who need assistance and who want to report flood-related damage can phone 021 808 8999 or send a WhatsApp to 079 622 4722.
Residents can do the following to protect their properties:
- Ensure that all gutters are clean
- Ensure that downpipes are clean, and that water can flow freely
- Ensure that all drains are open for water to enter
- Ensure that there are no items outside your property that can hamper the flow of water, such as outdoor furniture
- Check your roof for leaks and remove any debris such as leaves or branches
- Immediately inform the municipality if a public drains or stormwater system in your area appears clogged.
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A Municipality Spokesperson says their stormwater systems are cleaned on a regular basis, especially at this time of the year. The reality is that no system is designed to deal with such a large volume of water in such a small space of time.
Wemmershoek Dam is currently full
At the same time, the Wemmershoek Dam is full. Authorities are letting water go in anticipation of more rain on the way. The Municipality has asked people to be careful when travelling on the roads. If you can, rather stay at home.