Sluice gates opened as Emergency Services continue to monitor flash flood hot spots

sluice gates opened as emergency services continue to monitor flash flood hot spots

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) says the incessant rainfall over the weekend has resulted in some dams’ levels reaching full capacity forcing the Department to open sluice gates.

The disruptive rainfall in various parts of the country led to incidents of flooding being reported with more than 300 people forced to shelter at a community hall after their homes were flooded in Soweto.

Emergency Services personnel say they will continue to monitor flash flood hot spots as more rainfall is predicted.

Dam levels at full capacity

Torrential rains battered large parts of the country this weekend causing flash flooding and placing Emergency Services on high alert.

The Department has opened several sluice gates at the Vaal Dam as water inflows rise – increasing dam levels to full capacity.

The Department’s Sputnik Ratau elaborates, “The expected inflows from the rains in the catchment areas will obviously increase the dam levels and therefore it is important for us to ensure that we protect the infrastructure. So the whole Vaal/Orange system is in increased activity and that is why we need to increase the releases.”

The Hartebeespoort Dam also reached full capacity causing it to overflow. Ratau has urged those living downstream to be extra vigilant.

“They need to protect their lives and secondly their livelihoods, whether it is by removing pumps from the pathway or evacuating low-lying areas. But also just to be on the lookout for messages that would be coming from Emergency Services,” says Ratau.

Gauteng on high alert

Emergency Services were on high alert across Gauteng. The Tshwane Emergency Services says several roads around Centurion were severely flooded. One vehicle attempted to cross a flooded road but got stuck near SuperSport Cricket Stadium in Centurion. However, the occupants managed to escape unharmed.

Tshwane Emergency Services spokesperson, Charles Mabaso, adds, “Some households in areas of Mamelodi, Mooiplas, Nelmapius, and Soshanguve have reported water-locked yards and water entering houses. There were no injuries reported and the Disaster Management is assessing the situation.”

Displaced families

More than 300 Nancefield hostel residents in Soweto were displaced and have been housed at a local community hall after their homes were flooded.

Johannesburg City officials say attempts to divert water from a nearby dam by contractors working to repair a sinkhole on Klipspruit Valley Road in Soweto might have exacerbated the flash floods.

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Joburg Emergency Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi has urged motorists to drive safely.

“We are aware that most of our roads are wet and slippery. We would like to urge all our motorists to exercise caution – extend following distance – and also try and avoid crossing flooded roads and flooded bridges,” says Mulaudzi.

The South African Weather Service has issued an alert level 6 for disruptive rains and strong winds in Gauteng and has urged residents to be extra cautious.

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