Cape Town - Flash-floods swamped morning commuter traffic on Friday leading to long delays on a number of major routes across Greater Cape Town.
Rushing rainwater reduced traffic on Vanguard Drive to a single lane, backing up vehicles heading into the city from Mitchell’s Plain.
The Dean Street intersection with Main Road in Newlands was ankle-deep in water that flowed towards the Liesbeeck River and the N1 was clogged with cars delayed by up to an hour between Belville and the CBD.
City disaster management teams were dispatched to divert flooding on the N1 at the M5 Koeberg Interchange which closed a section of the outbound carriageway.
One commuter tweeted that her car had been spun 90 degrees by the water as she tried to navigate the flood.
Cape Town Traffic’s Maxine Greeff said peak-hour traffic was far heavier than usual - in all likelihood because commuters often chose their own transport over public transport in bad weather.
Nine accidents had been reported in the peak period, but none more serious than fender benders.
Meanwhile, The City of Cape Town Disaster Management spokesman Wilfred Johannes said there had been no reports yet of residential area flooding, “but as the rain persists over the weekend, the water table will be expected to rise.
“We will have inspectors out throughout the weekend, to monitor any flooding.”
The City of Cape Town’s Roads and Stormwater Department released a statement this morning stating that it had launched its winter readiness programme and had teams on standby to deal with storm damage and flooding.
“The city is geared to deal with any major emergency or crisis events which require a multidisciplinary reaction by specialised disaster response teams to safeguard the general public, property, environment and livelihoods,” said the city’s mayoral committee member, transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.
Crews had been called out in force earlier this month when a series of cold fronts moved over the Peninsula.
Henry du Plessis, director of roads and stormwater, said informal settlements posed the biggest challenge for the department, as they were mostly in high water table areas and had poor drainage, meaning they were prone to flooding.
* To report a blocked drain or flooding call 0860 103 089. Alternatively, call the Disaster Risk Management Centre at 080 911 4357.
The SA Weather Service issued warnings about conditions today, including:
* Very rough seas with wave heights 4m to 6m were expected to develop between Table Bay and Plettenberg Bay last night, subsiding during the course of tomorrow.
* Very cold conditions were expected over the southern high-ground of the Northern Cape and western high-ground areas of Western Cape Provinces on Friday.
* A gale force west-north-westerly wind of 35 knots (65-70km/h) was expected in the deep-sea areas between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas overnight last night and into Friday morning.