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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Communities warned to take precautions after dam levels rise in North West

The Department of Water and Sanitation said the opening of the floodgates has prompted an increase of the Bloemhof Dam outflow.


The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has warned communities to take precautions after it opened floodgates to ease the pressure on the Vaal Dam.

The DWS Hydrological Services said it had opened six floodgates from the Vaal Dam on Wednesday.

It said this led to high water volumes emanating from the water release.

Spokesperson Wisane Mavasa said residents must take precautions against rising waters.

Precautions

The opening of the floodgates has prompted an increase of the Bloemhof Dam outflow, with an increase from 1000m³/s to a further 1200m³/s.

“The communities of Bloemhof and surrounding areas in [the] Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati district municipality are warned of the high-water volumes emanating from the Bloemhof Dam water release and the department further alerts all communities especially in downstream areas to stay clear of the Dam and avoid low level bridges as they are slippery at this time,” Mavasa said.

Dam levels

Mavasa said the heavy downpours have replenished levels.

“While the department will operate and ensure the dam remains safe and functions optimally, it is critical for the communities downstream to be made aware that there is a need for water releases.”

“Moreover, the provincial dam levels have risen as it continuously pours,” he said.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Kruger Park warns visitors of closed roads and flooded bridges

Mavasa shared an overview of the current dam levels in the North West province.

“Hartbeespoort Dam was at 97.3% last week, it’s now at 99.6% while Madikwe Dam was at 49%, its now at 72%.”

Photo: DWS

Man swept away

Meanwhile, in Gauteng, Joburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) on Wednesday called off the search for a man who fell into a stream in Diepsloot.

According to reports, the man fell into a stream around School Road during Sunday’s heavy rains.

Joburg EMS spokesperson Xolile Khumalo said the search for the man will continue on Thursday.

“There were no findings to report on and the search will continue,” she said.

ALSO READ: Joburg EMS searching for man swept away in floods

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