Deluge!

ND WEATHER INLSA Thursday mornings deluge in Durban led to the closure of parts of Rick Turner (Francois) Road in Umbilo, above, and Addison Drive in La Lucia. Truck drivers and motorists made their way cautiously in Rick Turner Road. The inclement weather is expected to continue on Friday. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

Flooding, thunderstorms, strong winds and extremely cold conditions have been predicted for KwaZulu-Natal over the next 24 hours.

eThekwini Municipality spokesman, Thabo Mofokeng, said numerous incidents of flooding had been reported in the city and surrounding areas.

Several roads in the city have been closed, including parts of Rick Turner (Francois) Road in Umbilo, and Addison Drive in La Lucia.

Disaster management teams have been dispatched to informal settlements and low-lying areas since Thursday morning to help families who may have been displaced.

The South African Weather Service has issued a national weather warning with severe weather conditions also reported in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

Overnight in KwaZulu-Natal, the highest rainfall has been recorded at Ulundi and Margate with 122mm and 171mm respectively.

In Durban, 74mm of rain has fallen, 78.6mm in Richards Bay and 123.2mm in Port Edward.

Since Wednesday, the province has been put on flood alert and traffic authorities have advised that all unnecessary travelling be put on hold. Heavy downpours are expected to continue across the province until Friday.

The heavy rains have continued unabated since Tuesday night.

Weather Service forecaster, Stacey Colborne, said a weather warning for heavy rains and flooding had been issued on Wednesday night.

On Thursday, the service predicted thundershowers with very cold conditions.

Temperatures are expected to reach a maximum of 17ºC on the coast and 14ºC inland.

Colborne said heavy swells of up to 5m and extremely rough sea conditions had been noted.

A Department of Transport official confirmed that more than eight accidents had been reported since Wednesday.

“We are appealing to motorists to travel with caution. In fact, all unnecessary travelling should be put on hold.”

ER 24 spokesman, Derrick Banks, said they had responded to more than six fender benders in the Durban and Pietermaritzburg areas since Thursday morning.

Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesman, Lennox Mabaso, said they had placed the province on high alert for possible flooding.

Disaster management teams throughout KwaZulu Natal are also on standby.

He said communities had been warned not to attempt to cross rivers of low lying bridges.

“We are monitoring the weather very closely and will keep communities updated.”



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