Rain sweeps cars off bridge

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IOL news jul14 heavy rain Ex-QDMS Stock picture.

Soweto, Gauteng - Three vehicles were swept off a flooded bridge in Soweto during heavy rain on Thursday, Johannnesburg emergency services said.

“Residents rushed to the scene and helped out all occupants of the three vehicles,” spokesman Synock Matobako said.

No one was injured in the drama on Nancefield Road, a few metres from the intersection with Mncube Drive, near the Maponya hostel.

An eyewitness, Penuel Shelembe, said it was not first time cars had been swept off the bridge.

“The water tends to (flow) right in the middle of the bridge, but people risk it and drive through there. It's a very dangerous area,” he said.

The stormy weather interrupted Metrorail services in various parts of Gauteng, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) said.

Major train delays were expected.

“Lightning has hit a substation at Pinedene station (in Centurion) which has rendered both lines without overhead power,” spokeswoman Lillian Mofokeng said in a statement.

The outage affected all trains on the Pretoria line to Johannesburg and back.

“Metrorail has sent its technical team to the area to attempt restoring the power back on both lines.”

Other corridors in the west and east of the cities had problems ranging from flooded rail tracks to power failures. Technical teams would work around the clock to restore the service.

“An appeal is extended to all commuters to seek alternative transport where possible.”

In KwaZulu-Natal, residents were warned of possible floods, as torrential rainfall was expected to continue until the end of the week.

Co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC Nomusa Dube warned motorists to be careful.

Government officials and councillors were asked to co-ordinate help to people in affected areas.

She asked teachers to contact the transport department so school children who had to cross rivers to go home could be helped.

The provincial disaster management centre was watching the situation closely, Dube said.

“At the moment, no disasters have been logged with the provincial government.” - Sapa


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