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By Gareth Cotterell

Digital Editor

Joburg residents warned about severe thunderstorms and floods

Thunderstorms are expected across most regions of Johannesburg, with flash floods likely in some areas.

Johannesburg’s MMC for Public Safety Mgcini Tshwaku said the city’s emergency services are on high alert after the South African Weather Service (Saws) issued a warning for severe thunderstorms.

Saws issued a yellow level 2 warning for disruptive rain on Monday. It said Gauteng as well as parts of the Free State, North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape can expect disruptive rain.

It added that the rain could lead to localised flooding.

Saws said Gauteng would experience widespread showers and thundershowers.

Emergency services are on high alert

“The MMC for Public Safety Dr. Mgcini Tshwaku has noted with concern the level 2 waning issued by the South African Weather Services of severe thunderstorms which might cause flash floods in most parts of the City of Johannesburg from [25 December] until Wednesday,” the City of Johannesburg said in a statement.

It added that the city’s EMS Aquatic Rescue Unit is monitoring all regions of Johannesburg.

“Residents are urged to avoid crossing river streams, monitor young children to stay away from rivers,” it said.

“Motorists are urged to exercise caution while driving, extend safe following distances and avoid crossing flooded low-lying bridges and roads.”

ALSO READ: WATCH: One injured after hailstorm pummels Joburg and other areas

Tshwaku said the city’s disaster management unit will also be monitoring areas that experience severe rain and will assist residents affected by the weather conditions.

High water levels

Robert Mulaudzi, spokesperson of the City of Johannesburg’s Emergency Management Services, on Monday reiterated that the Aquatic Rescue Unit was on high alert.

He said the water levels in most of Johannesburg’s rivers are almost 60% full, “with Klipvalley which covers Orlando, Tladi, Dlamini and Kliptown 100% full”.

“Residents of Soweto and surrounding areas are urged to avoid crossing river streams,” he said.

ALSO READ: Body of missing teen recovered from Kliptown river

Tshwaku urged Joburg’s residents to call 011 375 5911 for any life-threatening emergencies.

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