Riaan van Zyl
2 minute read
7 Dec 2018
2:16 pm

Extreme wet weather, flooding forecast for SA this weekend

Riaan van Zyl

The public is urged to regularly follow weather forecasts on television and radio, and to exercise extreme caution.

Image: Shutterstock

The South African Weather Service has issued a press statement warning residents of extreme wet conditions this weekend.

The service predicts that heavy rain will spread across the central and eastern parts of the country.

The eastern half of the country, including Gauteng, North West and the Free State, are expected to experience thunderstorms from Friday through to Sunday.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Magnificent Namibian river in flood after years of drought

Conditions are expected to ease up on Monday.

Heavy rain has been noted with concern in southern Limpopo, Gauteng, eastern parts of the Free State, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday. A chance of widespread flooding is possible, due to persistent rainfall expected throughout the weekend.

The weather service has warned that both informal settlements and suburbs are at risk of localised flooding, which may result in the closure of major roads crossing low water bridges. Motorists are warned to drive with extreme caution.

The weather service has provided residents and motorists with the following tips to deal with the impending storms:

· If possible, stay indoors and off the roads, avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above one’s ankles.

· If trapped in a flooding situation while in a vehicle, it is preferable to abandon it and climb to higher ground.

· In buildings, move valuables to a safe place above the expected flood level. Switch off electricity at the supply point to the building.

· In rural areas, the safety of livestock can be assured by relocating them to a safe place on higher ground, preferably before the onset of inclement weather.

· In the event of duly authorised officials issuing an order to evacuate, abandon the dwelling without undue delay, unless access is cut off by rising floodwaters.

· Never drive on a road that is flooded or obscured by water. One cannot be certain how deep the water is and/or if the road has been eroded or washed away. If the vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.

· Be especially cautious at night when it is difficult to identify flood hazards. Listen attentively to the radio or watch TV weather bulletins for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officials.

The weather service will continue to monitor any further developments and will issue subsequent updates as required. The public is urged to regularly follow weather forecasts on television and radio.

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