Cold weather, localised flooding resulting from heavy rain and snowfall are expected in the Western Cape this week, according to SAWS.
The Western Cape is set to be hammered by yet another brutal cold front this week, with the South African Weather Service (SAWS) warning of heavy rainfall, icy cold conditions and disruptive snowfall in several parts of the province.
The cold weather is set to arrive on Tuesday 18 August, and localised flooding can be expected, much to the chagrin of vulnerable residents living in informal settlements.
HEAVY RAIN, ICY WEATHER AND SNOWFALL EXPECTED IN WESTERN CAPE
SAWS projects heavy rainfall leading to localised flooding across the coastal regions of the province, from Cape Town to the Garden Route throughout the week, and the Western Cape’s Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell, warned that members of the public should prepare to stay indoors and off the roads as much as they can.
“We want to make the public aware of the latest weather warnings and in particular, highlight the risks of being outdoors during these weather conditions,” he said.
“Avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles. In buildings, move valuables to a safe place above the expected flood level. In rural areas relocate animals to a safe place on higher ground.”
Bredell says the public should contact the relevant disaster management entities as quickly as possible should an emergency occur, adding that Disaster Risk Management teams will be on standby monitoring the situation.
“The easiest number to remember to call in an emergency is 112,” he said. “This number can be dialled toll-free from any cell phone.”
‘FLOODING TIP SHEET’ DISTRIBUTED
Bredell distributed a “Flooding related Tip Sheet” for people to familiarise themselves with in the event that their areas become flooded or otherwise affected by the adverse weather.
He outlined the following tips:
How Can I Prepare for a Flood?
- Identify the risk in your local area.
- Prepare a home emergency plan, and identify risks around your home.
- Remove leaves (from downpipes or gutters) or any other items that can increase the risk of flooding in your area.
- Have an evacuation plan. Everyone in your family has to know where to go to find shelter.
- Prepare an emergency toolkit. This should include a first aid kit, torch and portable radio with batteries, candles and waterproof matches, drinking water, a multi-tool, whistle and emergency contact numbers.
What should I do during a flooding?
- Monitor current flood warnings. Listen to the radio for emergency warnings, evacuation advice and weather updates.
- Avoid entering floodwater unless it is necessary, and never underestimate the strength of floodwater, even if you are inside a vehicle.
- Follow all instructions from emergency authorities.
- Turn off all electricity and water and take your cellphone with you.
- Assist elderly and disabled neighbours.
What should I do after the flood?
- Before entering your house, wait until the water has dropped below floor level.
- Check with electricity and water authorities to know whether it is safe for you to use these resources.
- Be aware of contamination if water sources have been flooded; this could be unsafe to drink.