Thunderstorms expected in Mpumalanga this weekend

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mbombela - Mpumalanga residents have been warned to expect more thunderstorms and flooded rivers and streams in the next few days.

On Thursday afternoon, the provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department urged communities to be alert as the weather service predicted between 30% and 60% chance of showers and heavy thunderstorms.

"The department requests all communities to take precautions, especially those who are staying in low-lying areas. The continued rains could result in an increase of dam and river levels thus making small streams very dangerous. 

"People must move away from river banks and they must avoid crossing full rivers and overflowing bridges. Parents are urged to warn children not to play next to streams and rivers," said department spokesman Simphiwe Kunene.

Kunene said the storms were expected to strike the Northern Highveld, Lowveld, Escarpment and Eastern Highveld from Thursday until Saturday.

"The department has also instructed all municipalities to be on full alert and on standby," he said.

Last month, a ferocious storm lashed Mbombela, White River and Bushbuckridge. Winds of 55 knots per hour flattened trees and damaged powerlines.

In February, more than 70 families lost their homes in Bushbuckridge during a severe thunderstorm. The Bushbuckridge local municipality had to provide temporary shelter to the victims. The municipality also helped bury a man who was killed in the storm. - BuaNews