By Anees Teladia
With gale-force winds, low temperatures and considerable rainfall expected by some in the Western Cape this week, the City of Cape Town has issued warnings to residents regarding the possibility of localised flooding and damage to property. Residents are asked to prepare themselves for any eventuality and to take adequate precautionary measures both in their homes and on the roads.
“Our biggest concern is power outages. If you have a newborn baby and it is being bottle-fed, make sure that you have a flask at home to keep warm water,” said spokesperson for the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management, Charlotte Powell.
“Sometimes power surges can also cause damage to your property and appliances, so safeguard all your electronics.”
Powell also warned of tree uprootings and loose branches which may cause damage to residential properties and vehicles.
“Some trees have been uprooted in some areas. Make sure you remove all tree branches and dead wood around your property and watch out for flying debris – it can cause damage to vehicles and other properties.”
Despite the strong weather, no major incidents have been reported thus far.
The City is urging motorists to drive with caution, to maintain safe following distances, to remain vigilant on the roads and to refrain from speeding. Heavy-duty vehicles such as bakkies, SUV’s, vans and trucks are asked to take extra precautions.
Those experiencing emergencies are asked to contact the numbers below:
- For electricity faults: 0860 103 089
- Life-threatening emergencies:107 from a Telkom landline OR dial 021 480 7700 from a cellphone. Alternatively, call 112
- If you know of street people that need assistance: 0800 872 201
- For fallen trees: 0800 656 463
Meanwhile, the additional rain this past week has seen Capetonian dam levels recover to 59,8 percent of storage capacity. Water levels in the biggest dam in the province, Theewaterskloof, have increased by about nine percent to just over 60 percent.
The provincial Department of Local Government’s spokesperson, James Brent-Styan, however, says they are concerned about the Gouritz River catchment area which services the Karoo region. The local dam is about 24 percent full.
The City has also warned that residents are not yet in a position to “safely relax”.
“Although the metro dam levels are slowly increasing, we are still in a period of recovery. This precious resource has to see us through the next summer until the following winter and hopefully some better rainfall,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Waste, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.
Residents are encouraged to continue using water sparingly and to remain water-wise.