Official flood warning for Tshwane

2010-12-16 12:22

Residents of the Tshwane Metropolitan area were warned today to avoid low-lying areas as flooding was expected, the municipality said.

Parts of Centurion and informal settlements were of particular concern, safety and security spokesperson William Baloyi said.

Any flooding or damage could be reported to the municipal disaster management team on 012 358 6400.

Police would close roads where necessary.

Baloyi warned of flash flooding in low-lying areas of Paul Kruger Street in the city centre. Rabie and End streets had been closed, as had Aster and Akker streets in East Lynne. There was a possibility the residents there could be evacuated.

Motorists were warned to take care on Voortrekker Road and Michael Brink Street, as well as along Zambezi Drive.

Baloyi warned these roads could be closed in the next few hours if the rain continued.

Floods were affecting the R101 near Bon Accord heading towards Hammanskraal, but the road was not closed yet. A Sapa reporter said cars were stuck in water after attempting to cross the road on the R101, north of Bon Accord.

Baloyi said they were monitoring the townships of Soshanguve, Soutpan and other low-lying areas, as they might have to evacuate.

Although there had been no immediate reports of flooding, the Hennops River in Centurion and the Apies River in Pretoria North were being monitored, as were certain areas of Hammanskraal.

In Johannesburg, parts of Soweto, Lenasia, Roodepoort and Florida were affected. Metro police advised motorists to avoid the N1 highway.

Emergency services spokesperson Percy Morokane said: “The Jukskei River is now overflowing and our main concern is with the people in the informal settlement next to it.”

Heavy rains had caused flooding in the Lenasia South. Shacks were flooded in Protea South and Klipspruit, Soweto.

About seven houses were flooded in Mtipa Road.

Baloyi said: “We have had flooding since 3am in various parts of Soweto and the Roodepoort area as well as New Canada. In New Canada Road in Pennyville, three cars were stuck in a flood but we managed to pull out two. Occupants of the cars managed to get out before being flooded and there were no injuries.”

Morokane said the disaster management team had activated a joint operations centre in Roodepoort, where several municipal entities would work together. This team included Johannesburg water, the roads agency, metro police, emergency management, social development, housing and urban development.

Johannesburg Metro Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar warned motorists to avoid the N1 north and south between the N17 and Maraisburg offramp.

“We are asking motorists not to use the N1 at all and take alternative routes... perhaps the N3 as we have not had reports of flooding there.”

Other roads to be avoided included: the M1 north at the Smit Street offramp, M1 south at the Booysens offramp, Siemert Road in Doornfontein, Turf Club Road in Turffontein, Motsoaledi, Klip Valley and Khumalo roads in Soweto, and Goldman and Sauer streets in Florida.

Consideration was being given to closing certain parks in the city, which were popular with the city’s residents on the December 16 public holiday.

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