Residents and motorists cautioned as weather service escalates warning
The weather service said this weather may result in localised flooding of susceptible areas and may reduce visibility on the roads.
Most parts of South Africa can expect disruptive rainfall this weekend. Photo: iStock
The South African Weather Service (Saws) has issued a yellow level four warning for rain in Gauteng and motorists have been urged to be cautious when travelling on roads amid expected heavy downpours.
The weather service previously issued a yellow level two warning but later upgraded it to level four after closer inspections.
According to Saws, a steep upper air system is expected to cause persistent widespread (80%) showers and thunderstorms over Gauteng which are expected to continue until midnight.
“The latest numerical models project rainfall amounts of between 25-45mm which may result in flooding in some areas. The main concern will be low-lying prone areas, poor driving visibility and pooling of water on major roads,” said the weather service in a statement.
The weather service further explained that this particular weather may result in localised flooding of susceptible areas such as informal settlements and low-lying roads. Especially those located in flood-prone areas.
Slippery roads and reduced visibility
The weather service also predicts that major roads will be affected but still be can be used with increased travel times. Additionally, difficult driving conditions can be expected in addition to minor motor vehicle accidents due to slippery roads, pooling of water in roads and reduced visibility.
Gauteng MEC for Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure, Jacob Mamabolo, has urged road users to exercise extreme caution and responsibility when driving in these conditions.
“Road users are once again reminded that such conditions present unique challenges that include reduced visibility, reduced steering ability, reduced traction as well as increased time and space to bring vehicles to a stop.
“The Department’s emergency road maintenance teams are on standby to provide assistance to disaster management services in the event of excessive flooding and damage to roads in the province,” Mamabolo said.
“It’s important to note there is some uncertainty in the forecast, especially in the amount of rainfall, but we will monitor the situation,” concluded the weather service.
Weather in KZN and other coastal areas
The government (speaking through GCIS) also advised people who reside in low lying areas in provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape to remain vigilant as persistent showers of rain continue to pour during the Easter Weekend.
The advice comes on the back of another Saws warning that rain accompanied by thunderstorms and strong winds is expected to intensify in some parts of the country. As such, the risk of flooding remains a possibility.
“People are urged to monitor rising water levels, especially in low lying areas, exercise caution when driving through flooded areas and avoid crossing low lying bridges, water streams and rivers,” added government in a statement.
Search and rescue efforts in KZN
GCIS also confirmed that search and rescue efforts – including the restoration of services in the KwaZulu Natal province where floods have caused massive damage to infrastructure, residential and business properties including loss of lives – are continuing
Concerned citizens are advised to contact their local municipalities to enquire about available support or call the national emergency numbers: 112, 10177 and 107.
Compiled by Kaunda Selisho and Lethabo Malatsi