One missing as heavy rain lashes Tshwane

Pretoria -

Heavy rain is expected to persist across the greater Tshwane area until at least Monday.

The heavy rain led to parts of South Street in Centurion being submerged. Pictures: Oupa Mokoena. Credit: Independent Newspapers

The stormy weather has already led to one woman going missing.

With unrelenting rain leaving the city cold and grey on Tuesday, a woman from Brits was trapped under masses of water in her car, while a homeless man was rescued from the flooded Hennops River in Centurion.

The man, who was trapped by the stormwater, was stuck on a yellow plastic road barrier for at least an hour before swimming to a nearby tree and clinging for dear life.

Emergency services used an inflatable rescue boat to bring the man to safety.

Emergency Services spokesman Johan Pieterse said: “We urge Tshwane residents to keep children away from open water in the veld, rivers and ponds. Motorists are warned not to cross low-water bridges when in flood.”

The car of the 56-year-old North West woman was one of four to wash away after a low-water bridge near the Brits shopping centre flooded.

Emergency services divers were called out after the woman and her car disappeared under the water. She is still missing. It has not yet been confirmed if she is alive, because the water is estimated to be 7m deep. The South African Weather Service issued a warning on Tuesday for heavy rainfall.

Pieterse said the public should be careful in the wet conditions. “Motorists must be on the lookout for fallen trees, or potholes that might open up during the constant rain.”

Tshwane metro police spokesman Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said several roads in Centurion, including Lenchen Avenue and Nellmapius Drive, were flooded. The bridge over the Apies River between Hercules and Capital Park was closed briefly after it flooded. Floods were also reported in Ga-Rankuwa and Soshanguve.

The weather service forecast an 80 percent chance of rain until Monday, while maximum temperatures are expected to increase to 27°C by Saturday.

The weather service issued rainfall figures for between Monday and Tuesday morning.

Almost 80mm was recorded at the Bolepi House weather station on Rigel Avenue in Erasmuskloof. In Irene, 65mm was recorded, and almost 55mm at Eendracht in the city centre.

“With this continuous rainfall and heavy rain in places, the risk of flash-flooding of the river systems remains very high,” said Christina Thaele, forecaster at the Pretoria National Forecast Centre. - Pretoria News

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