Durban - The South African Weather Service has issued a flood warning for KwaZulu-Natal and other parts of the country as a massive storm, bringing with it heavy rains and strong winds, makes landfall on Tuesday.
Up to 60mm of rain is expected to pound KZN until Thursday, when there will be light to moderate showers.
Meteorologist Wiseman Dlamini said rain was expected until Sunday.
“There’s a 60 percent chance of rain (today) and an 80 percent chance (Wednesday).”
An estimated 20 to 30mm of rain was expected to fall daily over the next two days. This might result in flooding in some areas, Dlamini said. A statement on the SA Weather Service website urged the public not to try to cross rivers and streams that are in flood, irrespective of whether they are on foot or in a vehicle.
The weather system, which will also affect Gauteng and Eastern Cape, will likely be felt during Nelson Mandela’s memorial service today and funeral service on Saturday.
William Msimanga, a senior forecaster at the SA Weather Service, said areas of KZN had already received significant rainfall recently so the chance of localised flooding, because of elevated levels of water in the soil, was high.
Jason Nicholls, manager of international forecasting at AccuWeather, said the weather system was a “slow moving front”.
“Some models show more than 100mm during the two days, but this is probably overdone. More realistic rain
amounts look to be around 25mm,” he said.
“There is the risk of flash flooding, especially in downpours, which can cause travel problems.
“Scattered showers and thunderstorms can persist across the region on Thursday and Friday, but rainfall will be lighter (then), which should lessen the flooding threat.”
Metro police spokesman Eugene Msomi said that metro’s Festive Season Management committee (Fesmac) was ready as of on Monday to deal with any sort of disaster during the festive season. Fesmac comprises all major city departments and SAPS. Chief of Durban Metro’s Fire and Emergency department, Mark Te-Water, said they were also prepared for the predicted storm.