Grim weather takes its toll in the Cape
Cape Town - Snow fell on the Helderberg for possibly only the second time since the 1970s on Thursday night, as well as on Table Mountain for the second time this year, and False Bay’s waters washed into the Strand, in the latest dramatic weather to hit the Cape.
The forecast of 100 percent chance of rain materialised, accompanied by high seas as, shortly before 4pm on Thursday, NSRI Table Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following reports of an old boat wreck being swept out of the Milnerton Lagoon Mouth.
“While no lives were reported to be in danger, NSRI Table Bay dispatched a ground crew to investigate and an old wooden wreck was found to have washed out of the lagoon and has landed up on the beach in front of the Lagoon Beach Hotel,” spokesman Craig Lambinon reported.
“It appears that this old wooden boat wreck had washed into the lagoon some three years ago and locals had secured the wreck to the shore, inside the lagoon, to prevent it from posing any danger to lagoon users. On Thursday, during a storm, the wreck had broken its mooring and, in an outgoing tide, it was swept out of the lagoon mouth and washed ashore on the beach.”
The boat could be seen lying on the sand at low tide on Friday morning.
At the Strand, the past month’s winter seas have systematically washed sand up against the retaining wall meant to separate the beach from Beach Road, but high seas on Thursday afternoon flooded this four-laned popular seaside route at high tide.
Dawn broke to reveal snow atop the Helderberg Mountains, last seen three weeks ago, and in 1978 before that. And while the Hottentots Holland range remained clothed in cloud on Friday morning, heavy falls were believed to have iced their peaks too, along with those above Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl.
Morning commuters driving from Grabouw towards Cape Town were presented with reports of snow on Sir Lowry’s Pass, but there was some confusion as to whether this was snow or sleet, while heavy hail rained down on Somerset West in the valley below.
There were reports of floods in Philippi and Belhar.