Cape Town - Torrential rainfall, gale-force winds, 6m swells, floods and snow are set to hit the Western Cape over the next few days as a storm hits.
The City of Cape Town has issued a severe weather warning, with heavy rain expected on Wednesday afternoon.
City Safety and Security director Richard Bosman said rain on Tuesday night had flooded a few intersections in the city but “there was nothing major to report” at the time of publication.
“We are expecting the real heavy rainfall at around noon today (Wednesday),” Bosman said.
At the intersection between the M3 and Paradise Road, a 25cm deep puddle had taken over part of the left lane. Traffic officials had been deployed at other flooded intersections.
Gordon's Bay old village was partially flooded by fast-flowing stormwater on Wednesday morning, after heavy rains lashed the area.
Fortunately, the flooding happened at low tide.
In Duinefontein Road in Philippi, traffic built up as vehicles slowed down to get across a flooded portion of tarmac.
The SA Weather Service said two cold fronts would hit Cape Town on Wednesday. The first could bring snowfall to high-lying areas in the Western Cape.
The website Snow Report said light snow would dust the peaks of the Ceres and Cederberg ranges.
“At the same time, the cold front will extend eastwards, dropping snow on most ranges as it goes.
“By Thursday afternoon, widespread light snow is expected in the Karoo, the Southern parts of the Northern Cape and all the coastal mountain ranges from Hermanus to Cape St Francis.”
The seas are set to swell, with waves predicted to reach heights of about 6m.
“Members of the public are urged to stay away from areas like the Atlantic seaboard, False Bay coastline and Strand/Gordon’s Bay beachfront during this period,” the city said in a statement.
“Property owners along the coast need to be prepared for possible storm-surge impacts to their property,” it warned.
Bosman extended this warning to people making use of small boats.
However, while storms can pose dangers to residents and wreak havoc on the roads, the city said it has plans in place to deal with the impact of bad weather.
“Our operational staff will be on standby to assist residents in need over the next few days,” said city safety and security boss Bosman.
“We urge the public to exercise caution, especially on roads, as we tend to see an increase in motor vehicle accidents during bad weather periods.”
In the past, in suburbs such as Wynberg, many motorists have found themselves stranded when they tried to cross flooded sections of the main road.
Last year, the Cape was also lashed by a severe storm in August.
Waves swelled to around 9m, the SA Weather Service said at the time.
The city’s Disaster Risk Management department said almost 10 000 people had been affected by localised flooding.
Nearly 2 000 households, most situated in, informal settlements, had been flooded.
Over R1.4 million was spent providing aid to displaced families.
Additional reporting Murray Williams.