Joburg can expect more rain, floods

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THE STAR

Traffic was jammed at the Glenhove offramp after Joburg woke up to a heavy downpour on Friday. Picture: Antoine de Ras

Johannesburg - Johannesburg residents can expect more rain in the coming days and should be aware of possible flooding, the SA Weather Service said on Friday.

Forecaster Edwin Thema said there was a 60 percent chance of rain for Johannesburg during Friday night and Saturday, which could result in flooding.

From Sunday extending into next week, only isolated showers were forecast.

The heavy rains were caused by moisture moving in from the north, a fairly typical pattern for this time of the year.

Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) spokeswoman Bertha Peters-Scheepers said there was flash flooding in Bramfischerville in Soweto, the Jukskei area and the Thulani/Doornkop areas near Krugersdorp, as well as in the Wilgeheuwel area next to Clearwater Mall.

There was a blocked stormwater pipe on Banfield road in Industria North, which the JRA was working to drain.

“Signs have been erected on both sides closing the road, and the flooding poses no danger to any properties in the area,” Peters-Scheepers said.

The JRA was concerned that people kept removing road closures at Chris Hani and Klipvalley roads in Soweto, which placed people's lives at risk.

Low-level bridges on Stockwell avenue, Bridge street, Bryanston drive and Witkoppen road were also flooded by heavy rains, while the double-decker section on the M1 North had been cleared.

Johannesburg metro police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said just before 3pm a minibus carrying schoolchildren got stuck in water on New Canada road, Soweto.

He said emergency management services pushed the minibus to safety.

New Canada road was closed to traffic between Main Reef road and the Soweto highway. Motorists should use the Soweto highway, the N17 or Elias Motsoaledi road as alternative routes until the water had subsided.

Minnaar said Klipspruit Valley road and Khumalo street in Orlando West, Soweto, which were earlier closed to traffic, had been reopened as the water had subsided.

Gauteng education department spokeswoman Phumla Sekhonyane said the heavy rains had not caused major disruptions to schooling.

“There are, however, eight schools in the northern parts of Johannesburg - that is Cosmo City, Zandspruit and Lion Park - as well as some parts of the West Rand that reported disruptions due to severe floods.”

The schools affected would have catch-up programmes to make up for lost teaching time.

Peters-Scheepers warned the public to take precautions in the wet weather.

“Do not attempt to drive through flooded areas, even if the water looks shallow enough to cross. If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.”

Pedestrians should also beware of flash flooding, as it was impossible to out-run a flash flood. Places that were likely to flood, such as ditches or dry stream beds, should be avoided.

“Never attempt to run across flooding water if the water level is above your ankles... (and) keep children away from playing in drainage ditches and stormwater drains,” Peters-Scheepers said.

Earlier, Minnaar said that two people were rescued in Diepsloot after their car was caught in floodwaters. They were unhurt. He advised motorists to drive with care as several accidents were reported around the city on Friday.

Sapa


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