Pretoria - As persistent heavy rains pounded Pretoria over the weekend, causing untold mayhem and destruction to property, Tshwane Emergency Services pleaded for residents in areas prone to flooding to continue treading cautiously and heed cordoned off places.
This came after a car fell over a bridge and into a river in Centurion on Friday night as the heavy rains continued to lash the city and flood areas.
Tshwane Emergency Services spokesperson Charles Mabaso said with the City experiencing a lot of rainfall, they wanted to issue a warning in particular to residents in and around the Centurion area. He said the biggest challenge for his department and other stakeholders working alongside them, such as Tshwane Metro Police and the Disaster Management teams, was in keeping residents away from hazardous areas.
“When the teams try to close the gates for vehicles not to pass through the low water bridges, we have people removing and opening the gate and even removing the barrier tapes. “The gates are locked to safeguard and to secure the safety of our motorists. We discourage in the strongest terms the opening of the gates.”
As a result of such negligent behaviour, Mabaso said a bakkie was washed out on the Hennops River on Friday evening.
Mabaso said that it took those who tried most of the day to recover the vehicle. And even though the driver of the bakkie was not identified as he did not come to the scene during the recovery, it was reported that he escaped unharmed.
“We continue to caution our people and to encourage them to report all life-threatening emergencies on our dedicated toll line. We remain on high alert together with the disaster management crews, Tshwane Metro police and other stakeholders that are responsible for the implementation of the Tshwane Flood Response plan.”
City spokesperson Lindela Mashigo added that Otterbridge, a low water bridge at the Rietvlei Nature Reserve had also flooded due to the rainfall and the area had been closed off from Friday afternoon.
Mashigo indicated that despite this development, the reserve still remained operational and that the rest of the tarred roads were accessible to the visitors.
Forecaster Jacqueline Modika said Tshwane residents could expect more showers, thundershowers and partly cloudy conditions to continue for most of the week, with temperatures ranging in their mid-20s.