Flash floods warning for residents in low-lying areas

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pretoria - The National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) has warned people staying in low-lying areas to continue taking the necessary precautions and monitoring the weather pattern for the duration of the summer rainfall season. 

The NDMC on Tuesday cautioned communities to be continuously on the look out for possible flash floods as a threat of above-normal rainfall is still looming over some regions until the end of this season.

The latest weather forecast indicates that the summer rainfall regions, especially in the eastern and south-eastern parts of the country, may still experience above-normal rainfall until the end of March and diminish towards the winter season.

The NDMC's Modiege Sethusha said: "We encourage people to continue monitoring weather developments by listening to their local media and also to consult their local authorities for assistance in the event of flash floods, as we have not yet passed the rainy season and possible above-normal rains are still in the picture."

Over the weekend, several areas in Johannesburg and Pretoria were besieged by flash floods as a result of incessant isolated downpour experienced across Gauteng province.

Although no major damage was reported around the province, incidents were reported within the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality.

Close to 100 shacks were affected by flash floods in Protea Glen informal settlement. A middle-aged woman has been reported as missing in Alexandra's Setswetla informal settlement. Emergency services officials are still searching for her. 

A bridge was washed away in Sunninghill, while low-lying areas in New Canada were flooded.

The NDMC is in contact with provincial and local disaster management teams on the ground to monitor the situation and give support where required.

In case flash floods necessitate evacuation, residents are advised to leave the affected areas timeously to avoid being engulfed by flooded roads, which will lead to escape routes being blocked.