Cold takes hold in Cape Town

2011-06-17 10:28
Cape Town – There is no doubt that winter has arrived in Cape Town.

Residents experienced rain showers, icy-cold winds and even thunder storms since Tuesday evening. Lightning struck on Wednesday night as well.

Two brothers from Vredekloofhoogte in Brackenfell miraculously survived after lightning hit their home on Wednesday at about 20:45. The impact was so big that some of the power cables burst through the walls of the house and part of their garage burnt down.

In Avian Park, a Worcester neighbourhood, about 60 families had to evacuate their homes after they were flooded. According to Keri Davids, spokesperson for metro emergency services, they brought about 90 adults, 78 children under 12 and 12 babies to the Worcester civic centre. The elderly adults were taken to nearby old-age homes.

Disaster management on Thursday was also busy assisting residents of Nomzamo informal settlement in the Strand, Site C in Khayelitsha, Hout Bay and Parkwood after the inclement weather.

Cape Town spokesperson for water and sanitation, Farouk Robertson, said the general dam levels in Cape Town were close to 60% full. He emphasised that the most important message was that

Capetonians still needed to save water. “We would like to preserve a culture of saving water.”

The weather office on its website warned of stormy sea conditions, gale force winds and heavy rain showers for Thursday and Friday.

The cold weather was set to continue at the weekend. In Cape Town, temperatures would rise to a maximum of 17°C on Friday and on Saturday it would be 19°C.

Maximum temperatures of 11°C and a minimum of 0°C were forecast for Sutherland, temperatures in Beaufort West would rise only to 13°C with a minimum temperature of 5°C. No rain was forecast for Friday but on Saturday there was a 30% chance of rain in Cape Town.

In George there was a 30% chance of rain on Friday. On Saturday it would be sunny in the course of the day and would become cloudy during the night.

Head of Eden disaster management, Gerhard Otto, said two mountain passes in the Southern Cape, the Garcia Pass between Riversdal and Ladismith and the Robinson Pass between Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn were still closed.

All the dams in the region were also overfull, except for two irrigation dams, the Stomdrif Dam in the Little Karoo and the Kamnasie Dam in the Oudtshoorn area. According to Otto, the situation was normal again after flooding last week.

It would appear as if the rainy season also brought relief to the Boland in the dry Hermanus region. According to Overstrand municipality spokesperson Fanie Krige, the De Bos Dam, which supplied Hermanus, was about 18% full before recent rains and water levels were dropping more slowly.

“It looks like we’ve reached the turning point,” he said. “If the rain keeps up, it will begin rising.”

Krige said no weather related problems were announced by 14:00 on Thursday.

Provincial traffic spokesperson Harold Williams said no roads were closed in Cape Town on Thursday. weather forecaster Luis Fernandes said cold fronts during winter were accompanied by heavy rain.

When thunder storms developed from cold fronts, the chance of heavy rain was even bigger.

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