Nica Richards
Deputy online news editor
2 minute read
19 Jan 2021
9:16 am

Risk of flooding near Vaal, Orange rivers remains, warns department

Nica Richards

The department is anticipating more rainy weather as the summer season draws to a close. 

Vaal Dam. Picture: Randburg Sun

The stern warning issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation last week should still be heeded, said department spokesperson Sputnik Ratau. 

This as rainy spells continue over parts of the country at risk of being impacted by rising water levels – particularly along the Orange and Vaal rivers. 

The department is anticipating more rainy weather as the summer season draws to a close. 

“The risk of flooding still remains as more rains come. There are those that have been impacted upon to the point of having to be evicted and others have had their equipment submerged,” Ratau told The Citizen

ALSO READ: Stern warning for people around Vaal Dam as water levels rise

Just last week, a family in the Lochvaal area in Rietspruit had to be evacuated, along with their pets, after becoming trapped in their home due to rapidly rising water levels along the Vaal River. 

It was reported that this was due to the Kroonvaal Dam wall bursting, but Ratau said neither he nor his colleagues were aware of any infrastructure failure. 

Nonetheless, those residing close to dam walls and rivers are urged to heed the warning and protect themselves as best they can. 

Water levels have subsided slightly, Ratau continued, saying the Bloemhof Dam, previously at 107.4%, was now at 102%. The Spitskop Dam is at full capacity, currently at 120.3%, and for the second week in a row, the Douglas Storage Weir in the Vaal River is at 133.8%. 

To illustrate how rains intensified this year compared to 2020, Ratau said the Northern Cape currently has a total storage volume of 108%. Last year, this was at 77.4%. 

The Vaal Dam is currently at 73.5%.

ALSO READ: Tropical storm Eloise likely to cause increased rainfall in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KZN

From this weekend and into next week, parts of the country will be on high alert as tropical storm Eloise is expected to make landfall along Mozambique’s southern coastline.

This is likely to cause increased rainfall in Limpopo, parts of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. 

Despite good rainfall and encouraging Vaal Dam and river levels, residents must still save water where they can, as these regions do not receive rainfall during the winter months. 

Remember to take short showers, water your garden with grey water, close the tap when washing your hands and brushing your teeth, and ensure that all dripping taps are fixed as soon as possible. 

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