News / South Africa

Steven Tau
1 minute read
6 Feb 2017
6:42 am

Heavy rain could result in flooding in parts of SA today

Steven Tau

In the Free State, the heavy rain would be confined to the central and eastern parts, while the entire North West province was at risk.

FILE Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

The South African Weather Service has issued a warning for heavy downpours that could lead to localised flooding in parts of the country today.

Forecaster Lebogang Mashilo on Sunday told The Citizen the Free State and North West provinces had a high probability of heavy rainfall. “Residents in those provinces should expected between 60% and 80% chance of showers,” Mashilo said.

But despite Gauteng’s chances of rainfall today, no flood warning or alert had been issued. In the Free State, the heavy rain would be confined to the central and eastern parts, while the entire North West province was at risk.

Elsewhere, forecasts suggested KwaZulu-Natal had a 60% chance of showers today, as well as Mpumalanga’s southern Highveld. No rainfall was expected in Limpopo. In the Eastern Cape, where several parts of the province had experienced a lot of rain in recent days, forecasts suggested a mere 30% chance of likely showers today.

Similar chances were forecast for the central and eastern parts of Northern Cape. Rainfall in parts of the country since late last year had been welcomed, as it contributed toward raising dam levels, many of which had been close to bottoming out.

The Vaal Dam, which supplies water to Gauteng, had at some point reached an alarming capacity of 25%. Authorities embarked on a replenishing exercise that resulted in water being drawn from the province’s reserve, Sterkfontein Dam. The latest capacity at the Vaal Dam was 63.5%.

Despite the improved national dam levels, the water and sanitation department has said “this does not mean the end of the drought”. Average national dam capacities should be beyond the 70% mark before water restrictions could be reconsidered.