More flooding expected in W Cape

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Copy of ct Bridge near bergsig done LAINGSBURG TOURISM Residents watch floodwater near the Bergsig bridge in Laingsburg. Due to heavy rainfall the Karoo town has experienced its worst flooding since 1981. Photo: LAINGSBURG TOURISM

The South African Weather Service has issued a severe weather alert warning of localised flooding in the Overberg, Cape Winelands, Cape Metropole, Central Karoo and Eden District for Thursday and Friday.

- Cape Winelands District Municipality: Rainfall has decreased in the area, however the weather service has indicated that 20mm of rain is expected overnight. In Zweletemba the fire brigade is pumping water out of affected homes.

- Langeberg: The body of a mentally challenged person has not yet been recovered after he is believed to have been swept away by an overflowing river. The search is still under way. All major routes are open, with some secondary roads in the area still closed.

- Laingsburg: SAPS Joint Operational Centre in Laingsburg remains active. Farms in the Vleiland area are still cut off, however, no lives are in danger. The Wilgenhout, Baviaans and Geelbek rivers have subsided but not the Buffels River. The Floriskraal Dam in the Laingsburg area is about 150.44 percent full.

Colin Deiner, chief director for Western Cape Disaster Management, said: “A spotter aircraft has been arranged to assess the farms’ accessibility and damages.”

- In Slangrivier and Heidelberg, 30 and 60 houses respectively were affected by rain.

The Department of Water Affairs has deployed officials across the province to monitor the flooded rivers as well as safety at affected dams such as the Floriskraal Dam.

An increase in water levels is expected in the Buffels River downstream of Floriskraal Dam, later in the Groot River at Vanwyksdorp and in the Gourits River due to the sharp increase of flow into the Floriskraal Dam.

Residents from the Buffeljagsrivier informal settlement in the Overberg district municipality were being accommodated in the Swellendam community hall.

An increase in dam levels was reported: Buffelsjags Dam 130.98 percent, Floriskraal Dam 150.44 percent and Prins River Dam 129.62 percent.

The Western Cape Disaster Management Centre said it had been monitoring heavy rains experienced throughout the province due to a cut-off low.

The weather services also issued a weather warning for heavy rainfall expected in the West Coast District today.

No significant incidents were reported in the City of Cape Town but all disaster management and engineering teams were placed on standby. Routine monitoring is under way at high risk areas such as Diep River, Elsieskraal and the Lourens River.

An unconfirmed number of houses were flooded in Zweletemba in the Breede Valley. The local emergency services and engineering department are attending to the community.

Two secondary roads in Greyton and Riviersondend are closed.

There were reports that houses in the Breede River Valley, Laingsburg, and George had been flooded. - Cape Argus

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