Disaster management teams are on standby as the storm expected to hit the Cape regions has been levelled up.
MEC for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, Anton Bredell, said they have received an update from the SA Weather Services that the previous Level 6 impact warning fro heavy rains has now been upgraded to Level 9.
"A level 6 Impact Warning for heavy rains has now been upgraded to a Level 9 Impact for torrential rains in parts of the Overberg, Cape Winelands, and spreading towards the Garden Route District on Monday," he said.
The provincial Disaster Management Centre will coordinate a proactive response strategy alongside national and provincial departments including the National Disaster Management Centre, the South African Weather Services, the National Defence Force, the Police Service, National Sea Rescue Institute, as well as district municipality disaster centres.
In a media statement, Bredell said the approaching cut off low storm system is expected to bring torrential downpours exceeding 100mm in places in the Overberg, Cape Winelands, and Garden Route districts.
"Our dams are full, and the soil is already saturated after good rains this winter. Such heavy downpours in a short space of time can lead to flash floods, mudslides, and general flooding of roads and residential areas. It is anticipated that the brunt of the storm will be experienced tonight, complicating potential rescue operations if needed," he said.
Tips to stay safe:
Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated with the latest weather reports through trusted local news platforms, radio alerts, and your local municipality’s social media pages. Follow instructions from authorities and be prepared to act accordingly.
Secure Your Property: Take necessary precautions to protect your property and belongings. If still able and is safe, clear any debris or potential flying objects from your yard, secure loose items, and reinforce doors and windows.
Evacuation Plans: If you live in an area prone to flooding or other hazards, get to a higher lying area.
Stay Indoors and Take Shelter: During the storm, it is crucial to stay indoors and stay in a safe area of your home. Avoid windows and do not venture outside until authorities announce it is safe to do so.
Power Outages: Be aware that power outages are possible during severe storms. Ensure you charge your devices while possible to ensure that you have a platform to stay informed.
Avoid Flooded Areas: Do not attempt to cross flooded roads or walk or drive through standing water. Flooding can be deceptive and pose serious risks. Stay away from rivers, streams, and low-lying areas that are prone to flooding.
Stay Connected: Keep in touch with your loved ones, friends, and neighbours, especially those who may require assistance. Check on vulnerable or elderly individuals to ensure their safety and well-being.
🟠Orange level 9 Warning for Overberg, Garden Route and southern parts of Cape Winelands Districts of Western Cape (24-25 Sept 2023).— SA Weather Service (@SAWeatherServic) September 24, 2023
⚠️ Widespread flooding expected
⚠️ Rainfall in excess of 100mm possible in places
⚠️ Full catchments may cause further flooding downstream pic.twitter.com/xxpjt4rYzI
Bredell urged communities to take heed of the warnings.
"The severity of this storm demands caution, attention, and proactive measures. Remember, your life and the lives of others are of utmost importance. Follow the instructions of local authorities and emergency services. Stay calm, stay safe, and look out for one another during this time," he said.