Severe weather warning for Cape Town

Santam has cautioned Cape Town residents to be careful and exercise extreme vigilance in the wake of the severe weather conditions predicted for the city and surrounding areas.

“Two successive cold fronts are expected to move in over the Western Cape, starting on Thursday resulting in rainy, odd and windy conditions as the weather system propagates eastwards over the southern parts of the country,” the South African Weather Service (SAWS) said.

The first cold front is set to move in over the south-western Cape during Thursday morning causing widespread showers and rain.

A secondary cold front will make landfall during Friday causing rainfall and light snowfall to persist over the Western Cape.

Cold conditions will start to invade the central parts of the country during Friday with maximum temperatures dropping significantly to the mid-teens.

The SAWS has warned that rainfall between 30mm and 40mm can be expected over the Cape Town metropole, Theewaterskloof, and the western parts of the Cape Winelands.

The SAWS has issued three Yellow level 2 warnings related to the two cold fronts:

  1. For rain resulting in localised flooding is expected over the Cape Metropole, western parts of the Cape Winelands and the western parts of the Overberg Districts on Thursday into Friday,” it said.
  2. For wind resulting in damage to settlements is expected over the southern high ground of the Northern Cape and the Central Karoo.
  3. For waves resulting in difficulty in navigation is expected between Cape Columbine and Plettenberg Bay from Thursday afternoon into Friday.

“The South African Weather Service will continue to monitor any further developments relating to this weather system and will issue subsequent updates as required,” it said.

“Being as prepared as possible, especially as we get ready for further winter rainfall, will help prevent flooding damaging your property,” Santam’s Marius Neethling said.

He added that motorist should be vigilant to decrease the risk of a flood-related car accident.

Santam has offered the following tips to motorists ahead of the expected heavy rains this week.

  • Avoid areas and traffic routes where flooding has been reported.
  • Monitor local weather and traffic reports and avoid areas where severe weather (high winds, storm sea surge and potential flooding) can be expected.
  • Reduce driving speed in rainy conditions and increase your following distance from the vehicle in front of you.
  • Be alert and aware of the road conditions in front of you.
  • Be particularly aware of the vehicles around you in times of poor visibility.
  • Ensure that your headlights are switched on.
  • Obey the rules of the road, especially any temporary signage or hazard warnings around flooding.
  • Avoid braking suddenly as this could cause your vehicle to skid or hydroplane.
  • Ensure that your windscreen wiper blades and brake pads are in top condition.

Last-minute measures homeowners can take if water levels rise include:

  • Clear gutters and drains.
  • If your home is on a slope, make sure that the water outflow is unrestricted.
  • Move furniture, electronic equipment, and valuables out of harm’s way, lift them off the floor.
  • In the event of flooding
  • Shut-off electricity at the main distribution board.
  • Those using sandbags must ensure that cloth is installed between the layers.

Santam further advised homeowners to make sure that the electrical points, plugs, and fixed are at least 300mm above expected flood levels.

“The slope of your property can direct water into or from your house. Observe where the water accumulates and flows,” it said.

“Where possible place drainage grids at the catchment points with better and deeper drainage ports. Ensure that the outflow from the roof gets to the street as quickly as possible.”

Those with large, flat gardens that have attenuation problems can install a perforated 110mm pipe.

The pipe must be seated into a bed of gravel and this can be buried 350-450 mm below the worst areas. This allows easy absorption and is a very cost-effective method.

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Severe weather warning for Cape Town