Extensive Flooding and Infrastructure Damage Hit Western Cape, South Africa
Severe Rainfall Disrupts Mobility
A significant collision between a truck and a minibus taxi was reported on Jakes Gerwel Drive near Vangate Mall in Athlone, Western Cape. Due to severe rainfall and flooding, Ricardo Mackenzie, the Western Cape Minister of Mobility, has urged residents to remain at their current locations. The harsh weather conditions have led to substantial road closures and perilous conditions on the roads. Motorists already on the affected routes have been advised to turn back and seek alternative accommodation.
Road Closures across the Province
All major roadways across the province, including the N1, N2, R60, R62, and various other roads, have been closed due to flooding. The traffic near Worcester is heavily congested due to the diversion of vehicles from the N2 to the N1. The Department of Infrastructure is actively working on repairing the damaged roadways, while provincial traffic law enforcement is assisting local authorities with traffic management.
Storm-Related Outages and Incidents
A sinkhole has formed outside the Theatre on the Bay in Camps Bay, with a violent stream of water flowing into it. Multiple areas across Cape Town are experiencing storm-related power outages, and extra staff have been deployed to handle the high volume of electricity-related calls. The inclement weather has also uprooted pine trees in the lower Tokai plantation, causing localized flooding of trails and soil movement in Upper Tokai. Visitors to the Table Mountain National Park have been advised to avoid mountain trails to prevent accidents and injuries.
Emergency Response to Storm Damage
The City of Cape Town and provincial disaster management are responding to various cases of storm damage and flooding caused by heavy rainfall. The province has experienced numerous incidents of flooding, power outages, fallen trees, mudslides, and more. The road between Worcester and Robertson has been blocked due to flooding, resulting in the closure of the last direct access route between Cape Town and Swellendam. All roads leading to Bredarsdorp have also been shut, and significant flooding in Stanford has led to the evacuation of residents.
Further Road Closures and Infrastructure Damage
The entrance to Montague on the R62 has been closed due to excessive flooding. The N1 towards Touwsrivier, from the R43 Wolseley Ceres intersection to the Ceres road at Touwsrivier, is also closed because of flooding. Chapman’s Peak Drive has been shut down as well. An antique steam engine displayed at Villiersdorp vanished as the ground beneath it was washed away. To manage water levels, sluice gates have been opened across the region.
Emergency Services Response and Suspension of Load Shedding
Extra staff have been enlisted to manage the influx of calls to the Western Cape Government contact center due to the storm. In light of the severe weather conditions, load shedding in Cape Town and the Western Cape has been suspended until further notice.
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