Roofs torn off as third storm sweeps through the Cape

Severe weather alerts for Thursday.
Severe weather alerts for Thursday.
Image: SA Weather Service

Fierce winds tore off roofs and uprooted trees as the third cold front in five days howled across the Western Cape on Thursday.

“It has been a busy night for the disaster operations centre, with dozens of calls about weather-related impacts,” said Cape Town disaster risk management centre spokesperson Sonica Lategan.

“Apart from flooded and obstructed roadways, there have also been reports of flooding in a number of residential areas, and electricity outages.”

Scores of schools were closed due to safety concerns related to a level 8 warning of disruptive rain throughout the day. At least 15,000 people have been affected and are being assisted by authorities and NGOs.

Roofs were blown off houses and overhead electrical cables damaged in the suburb of Wynberg.

“Crews from Constantia responded to the incident, and found four houses affected on the corner of Sussex and Bute Roads. The occupants of the properties were relocated to alternative accommodation,” said Lategan.

The city's public emergency communication centre (PECC) logged 339 incidents between 6pm on Wednesday and 6am on Thursday. More than 40% of the calls were weather-related.

“During the period, 54 calls were received about flooding of homes and severe weather conditions, and 85 calls relating to conditions on the roads, including motor vehicle accidents and trees obstructing roads,” reported the centre.

Teams have attended to hundreds of electricity service requests related to storm damage.

“As the severe weather conditions continue to hit Cape Town, we are likely to see more weather-related damage to electricity infrastructure in areas across the city. Our teams have already attended to more than 100 electricity-related faults in the last 24 hours, energy MMC Xanthea Limberg said on Wednesday.

South African National Parks (SANParks) has closed off sections of Table Mountain National Park and the whole of Tankwa Karoo National Park due to flooding and heavy snowfall.

“Excessive mudslides, overflowing rivers and damage to access roads due to heavy rain have contributed to the closure of sections inside Table Mountain National Park,” said SANParks.

Sections of Table Mountain National Park that were temporarily closed are the Cape Point overnight hiking trail and the roads to the Overseers Cottage, Olifantsbos Cottage and Smitswinkel and Slangkop tented camps. All access roads leading to Tankwa Karoo National Park were closed due to snowfall.

Emergency services were on high alert in George along the Garden Route where winds of up to 60km/h were expected on Thursday. Emergency personnel were attending to fallen trees obstructing roads and power outages in the city.



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