Eloise had no major impact on our operations, says Eskom
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DURBAN - South African power utility company Eskom said on Monday that the tropical storm Eloise had had no major impact on its operations.
As heavy rains continue to fall over parts of Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal, Eskom said it will continue to monitor the storm's impact on its facilities.
Eskom also urged the public to reduce their electricity consumption, to avoid unnecessary pressure on the system.
“On Sunday night, the storm passed through the transmission lines from Cahora Bassa in Mozambique without any incident. The high-risk sections of the transmission lines were reinforced after similar storms in previous years,” Eskom said in a statement on Monday.
Eskom said risks remained, as flooding of rivers and uprooting of trees posed a threat to electricity transmission lines.
“Typically, heavy rainfall for four or less days does not pose a significant threat to power station operations, but continuous heavy rainfall for more than four days does hamper coal handling at the power stations and the mines supplying them,” the utility said.
Eskom said that there had been power outages in some parts of Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KZN as poles and trees fell on power lines.
Eskom pleaded for patience from the communities in these affected areas, as its teams were working to safely restore power during the storm.
The Kruger National Park in north-eastern South Africa suffered heavy flooding as a result of tropical storm Eloise to all but its central region, SANParks spokesperson Ike Phaahla said on Monday.
Phaahla said that some parts of the park were still submerged in water and the true extent of damage was yet to be determined.
“The park has experienced significant rainfall that led to the evacuation of bushveld camps and the closure of gravel roads. The Punda Maria to Shingwedzi main road only reopened today as well as the Mopani Phalaborwa road,” said Phaahla.
According to the South African Weather Service, Eloise is expected to bring continued rain, with flooding expected in parts of the KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces.
Charters Creek in northern KZN received around 205mm of rainfall over the past 24 hours (until 8am on Monday), the weather service posted on its Twitter account on Monday.
Komatidraai in Mpumalanga, adjacent to the Mozambican border, received around 127mm of rain, while Nelspruit received 116mm.