Traffic chaos as rain, wind hits Cape

Cape Town - Cape Town woke up on Wednesday morning to driving rain and howling winds that led to traffic gridlock and delayed trains across the city.

And there’s no let-up as more heavy rains are expected in the next few days. The City of Cape Town was on high alert and was monitoring the situation for heavy flooding, said the head of the Disaster Operations Centre, Wilfred Solomons-Johannes.

The right lane on the N1 incoming near the Koeberg interchange caused slow moving traffic after heavy rains flooded a section of the road. Photo: Henk Kruger. Credit: CAPE ARGUS

He said there had been an incident of flooding in Simonstown on Wednesday and officials were monitoring the area.

A multi-disciplinary winter task team was working round the clock to monitor low-lying areas which have traditionally been prone to flooding, Solomons-Johannes said.

Commuting to the CBD on Wednesday morning took longer than usual as some roads were heavily congested. It took twice as long for a Cape Town staffer to travel by bus from Athlone to the CBD. Usually the trip from Surrey Estate travelling along Klipfontein Road through Mowbray takes an hour but due to bumper-to-bumper traffic it took her about two hours.

Cape Town traffic service spokeswoman Maxine Jordaan said there were two accidents reported on Wednesday morning, one a fender bender on the N1 and the other in Mitchells Plain.

“Besides those two accidents there was no other reported serious accident. We are monitoring other busy intersections. More windy and wet conditions are set to continue and we are urging motorists to switch on their lights, reduce their speed and keep a safe following distance.”

A massive tree fell and blocked Dirkie Uys Road in Goodwood in gusting winds. The road was briefly closed as municipal workers cleared the debris.

More road congestion and slow-moving traffic was reported on the Koeberg intersection, and the Black River pathway was flooded.

The SA weather service predicts more heavy rain over the metropole on Wednesday night into Thursday morning and gale-force winds between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas.

The city appealed to residents to help mitigate the potential impact by staying away from beachfront areas, maintaining a safe following distance on the roads, ensuring that the drainage systems on their properties are working properly and by raising the floor level of their shacks to minimise the risk of flooding.