Be careful of flash floods as rains continue

Thursday, February 14, 2019

As the end of rainy season approaches, the Department of Water and Sanitation has advised people who live in areas experiencing severe thunderstorms to be careful of localised flash floods.

“Communities and businesses should remain vigilant at all times and follow hail and flood warnings. February and March are traditional wet months when South Africa experiences her last rains of the season,” the department said.

The department advised residents to be extra cautious and stay indoors in the event of flash floods happening in their areas. The department also urged residents to avoid crossing swollen rivers and streams.

According to the department’s weekly report, heavy showers have raised dam levels to 62.6% this week.

The South African Weather Services has predicted more rain until this weekend, raising fears of possible floods in some areas, the department said.

Eastern Cape residents breathed a sigh of relief as intermittent rains raised their dam levels from 58% to 59.5%. However, Makhanda Dam continued with its extreme slide as the local municipality began tinkering water to locals to alleviate the situation.

Dam levels in the Western Cape have decreased from 46.7% to 45.2%, while KwaZulu-Natal’s Umgeni System, which comprises Albert Falls, Nagle and Inanda dams, increased from 59% last week to 59.3%.

Although the Vaal Dam in Gauteng fell from 72% to 71.1%, the department, however, said with the predicted rainfall, the dam is expected to rise quite substantially.

With 11 182.8 cubic metres, Free State has managed to store the highest amount of water in its reservoirs this week. The province’s dam levels were recorded at 70.1%. 

Dam levels in the North West decreased to 58%, while the Northern Cape recorded 68%. Limpopo province is currently at 61.2%. In Mpumalanga, dam levels increased from 68.8% to 69.5%. –