Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

Six tips to remember when driving in heavy rain and hail

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Oct 8, 2021

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Durban - A weather warning has been issued for parts of the country for this weekend.

The South African Weather Services said scattered showers and thunderstorms are predicted over the north-western parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

SAWS said these thunderstorms were expected to be accompanied by heavy downpours, hail, lightning and strong winds, leading to localised damage to infrastructure, settlements and livestock.

SAWS warned that there could also be flooding in low-lying roads and bridges, fires due to lightning and injuries from flying debris.

IOL earlier reported that inclement weather has also been predicted for Gauteng, the North West, Free State and Limpopo.

ER24 has issued the following tips to remember when travelling in heavy rain and hail:

*A flash flood is a rapid flooding of a low-lying area. It may be caused by heavy rain associated with a severe thunderstorm or even a tropical storm. You will not always have a warning that these deadly, sudden floods are coming. So, if you live in areas prone to flash floods, plan accordingly to protect your family and property.

*If you are caught in a heavy storm, try and find cover. Ensure that you are not in the open or near any large trees or high rising objects that might be struck by lightning. In large open spaces, you may also be at risk to be struck by lightning. Be sensible and seek cover.

*Remember that visibility will be decreased during heavy downpours, which will affect your ability to see other vehicles on the road and pedestrians. Keep a longer than normal following distance and ensure that you decrease your speed. Your vehicle must be roadworthy, and your windscreen wipers must be in perfect condition. If you cannot continue your journey, stop at your closest filling station or covered area. Avoid stopping on the side of highways or under bridges.

*Where an area is flooded, it is advisable to seek an alternative route and not attempt to cross the road or surface. Debris is often not visible, and the current may be stronger than what is perceived.

*If you are trapped in your vehicle during a flash flood, instead attempt to abandon your vehicle to try and get to higher ground. If you get swept away in the floodwaters, try to grab onto anything you can to pull yourself to safety.

*If flooding occurs at your home, ensure that all your electrical devices are switched off at the main distribution board. Do not attempt to unplug or switch off electrical appliances near the water. Rather disconnect all main power from your main distribution board in your house. It is advisable that you know where this distribution board is situated and where the main switch is located.

IOL

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