First Winter storm lashes the Southern Cape

2021/05/05

The winter storm that made landfall in the Southern Cape earlier today has led to severe localised flooding in the communities of Struisbaai, Cape Agulhas and surrounding areas. Several roads in the Southern Cape have been flooded and road users are urged to be cautious while using the roads.

The Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell says evacuations are being done of homes in the affected areas and rescue teams have been deployed to the area to assist.

“People being evacuated from their homes are being housed at the Struisbaai Caravan Park and Struisbaai Community Hall. The Cape Agulhas Municipality Joint Operational Centre (JOC) has been activated for all disaster management matters.”

All requests for information and queries can be directed to the JOC at 028 425 5600. WhatsApp messages can also be sent to the Communication Department at 064 758 4532.

The South African Weather Services has issued a further update to the earlier warnings and says significant rainfall can now be expected over the City of Cape Town, Cape Winelands districts as well as Hessequa municipality from Wednesday evening and intermittently throughout Thursday.

The SAWS predicts that rainfall from 40-60mm reaching up to 80-100mm in the mountainous areas can be expected along with thunderstorms and a small chance of hail.

The provincial emergency number is 112.
Additional regional numbers for reporting emergencies in the Western Cape:
✅ City of Cape Town – 107 or 021 480 7700 and 080 911 4357
✅ Overberg – 028 425 1690
✅ West Coast – 022 433 8700
✅ Garden Route – 044 805 5071
✅ Central Karoo – 023 449 8000
✅ Cape Winelands – 021 886 9244 / 021 887 4446

Bad weather related tip sheet 📢
➡️How can I prepare for bad weather events?
Identify the risks in your local area.
➡️Report blocked drains and service disruptions promptly
➡️Prepare a home emergency plan and identify risks around your home.
➡️Make sure cell phones are charged before going to bed.
➡️Remove leaves and debris (from downpipes or gutters or street gullies) or any other items that can increase the risk of flooding in your area.
➡️Have an evacuation plan. Everyone in your family should know where to go to find shelter.
➡️Prepare an emergency toolkit. This may include items such as candles and matches, drinking water, a multi-tool, whistle and a list of emergency contact numbers.
What should I do during a flooding?📢
➡️Monitor current flood warnings. Listen to the radio for emergency warnings, evacuation advice and weather updates.
➡️Avoid entering floodwater unless it is necessary, and never underestimate the strength of floodwater, even if you are inside a vehicle.
➡️Follow all instructions from emergency authorities.
➡️Turn off all electricity and water and take your cell phone with you.
➡️Assist elderly and disabled neighbours where possible.
➡️Contact the authorities as soon as possible.
What Should I do after the flood?📢
➡️Before entering your house, wait until the water has dropped below floor level.
➡️Check with electricity and water authorities to know whether it is safe for you to use these resources.
➡️Be aware of contamination if water sources have been flooded; this could be unsafe to drink.
Further winter weather tips📢
➡️(When moving around outdoors) dress in warm brightly coloured wet weather clothing.
➡️If caught unawares by strong wind, barricade windows with wooded panels or strips (or furniture if needs be).
➡️When hiking or camping check on conditions before going and inform relatives or friends of your location.
➡️If ordered to evacuate do so immediately and in an orderly fashion.
➡️Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

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