Cape Town – The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has issued a Yellow Level 2 warning for severe thunderstorms resulting in possible flash flooding and infrastructure damage over the Cape Winelands, Swartland, Swellendam and Cape Agulhas municipalities of the Western Cape this morning.
SAWS has also issued a Yellow Level 1 warning for severe thunderstorms resulting in potentially damaging winds expected in the afternoon over the Alfred Nzo District and Ingquza Hill Municipality of the Eastern Cape.
Meanwhile, the George municipality said it measured approximately 60mm of rain, from Friday until Sunday, following the SAWS Level 6 warning received last week.
“The municipality implemented measures aimed at disaster prevention, mitigation and response after receiving the predicted heavy rainfall and severe thunderstorms from Saturday night to Monday morning,” the municipality said.
In Uniondale, 65mm of rainfall was measured, from Saturday until Sunday, and about 68mm of rainfall was measured in Haarlem on the same day.
The Uniondale and Haarlem areas recorded the most damage with the newly upgraded Uniondale Fire Station almost completely flooded despite preventative preparations.
“Trenches and sandbags were used to attempt to prevent flooding but to no avail. The volume of the downpour was simply too much for the measures that were in place,” the municipality said.
A farm in the Kammanassie area was also cut off from access due to the Kammanassie River flooding. The resident was unable to pick up an urgent emergency consignment of medication for an epileptic patient and the George Fire Department assisted.
Several roads were damaged in Haarlem and Uniondale, and after the flooding, a number of the stormwater drains needed to be cleared of debris, which officials have started with.
The George Traffic Services remained on standby for the duration of the storm, and at least three vehicle accidents were reported on the provincial roads. Two motor vehicle accidents were reported to the Fire Department on Sunday in Outeniqua Pass and one accident in Kaaimans Pass.
George Municipal Manager Michele Gratz thanked all the officials for their commitment to managing this potential disaster.
“I think we did well and our preparations helped in many respects,” Gratz said.