Residents to prepare for winter rain

2015-06-16 06:00

Over the past eight weeks, the council has put in measures to limit the impact of possible mudslides in the Southern Peninsula, following the devastating fires that raged on the mountains in this area in March.

With the next heavy rains being forecasted for this coming week, the City of Cape Town once again wants to urge residents in the Southern Peninsula (in particular those who live in close proximity to or against the mountain slopes) to take protective measures within their property boundaries.

To date, the City has spent over R2m on preventative measures in the Southern Peninsula, with another million to be spent by the end of this month, says Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport.

“We are trying our best to limit the possibility of damaging mudslides, but residents in this part of the city must also take action,” he says.

Residents need to ensure that excess flow from heavy rains is directed away from their properties. Those who would like more information on what measures to take can contact the district office for the South Peninsula on 021 444 3257 or tct.plumstead@­capetown.gov.za.

During the past eight weeks, the council has focused on preventative measures along Boyes Drive and Ou Kaapse Weg, as these are the main traffic routes that could be affected by heavy rains. Some of the preventative measures include the installation of silt curtains – installed on the mountain slopes to intercept silt that may be washed down the slopes in heavy rains – and sandbags, which are mainly used to increase the capacity of the existing drainage system and to redirect stormwater flows away from areas that are at risk of flooding.

Gabions (wire baskets filled with stones with the size and extent being determined by the risk at hand) have also been installed. They are commonly used within watercourses and other areas of high anticipated run-off to trap silt and debris, as opposed to silt curtains and sandbags which are too fragile to manage the heavy flows from the mountain.

Traps made of vertical steel beams, called dragon teeth, have been installed in front of the openings at stormwater catch-pits and mountainside stormwater inlet structures to prevent rocks and sticks from entering the stormwater system and blocking the stormwater pipes.

The City has already contacted home owners who are considered to be at high risk to advise them about obstructions to water flow on their properties such as boundary walls with inadequate openings, stored or stockpiled materials, and structures that could pose a risk (such as wendy houses), Herron says.

“I want to assure our residents that throughout winter we will continue to monitor and analyse the areas that were damaged by the mountain fires. We will ensure that blockages in the stormwater system are cleared as soon as practically possible and, if needed, we will also implement additional measures during the rainy season,” he says.

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Residents are encouraged to report blockages to stormwater infrastructure to the City’s transport information centre on 0800 65 64 63

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