Heavy winds shut down Gordon's Bay driving licence centre

2015-07-22 15:07
The Gordon's Bay testing centre after it was damaged by strong gale-force winds. (City of Cape Town)

The Gordon's Bay testing centre after it was damaged by strong gale-force winds. (City of Cape Town)

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Cape Town - The Gordon’s Bay driving licence testing centre has been closed temporarily after gale-force winds wreaked havoc with the roof and one of its walls.

And four trucks that blew over at the Huguenot Tunnel on Tuesday night have yet to be removed.

The City of Cape Town said the wind destroyed a part of the testing centre’s roof and removed several dozen bricks between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

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A structural engineer and electrician were assessing the damage and repairs would start as soon as possible.

Safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith said on Wednesday that it was unlikely the centre would reopen this week.

“Once we have determined the structural integrity of the affected area and dealt with the exposed electrical wiring, we will make a decision on possibly reopening the centre,” he said.

All activities had been ceased as a precautionary measure and the public was advised to use the testing centre in Somerset West. Gordon’s Bay staff would assist at that centre to ease the workload.

Trucks can’t be moved yet

Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said extremely strong winds would have to subside before officials could attend to the trucks blown over at the Huguenot Tunnel, forcing its closure.

The vehicles overturned on the bridge near the N1 Toll Plaza on Tuesday night.

“The situation is currently unchanged. Motorists will have to use alternative routes, including the old Du Toitskloof Pass.”

Western Cape transport department spokesperson Byron la Hoe said the Bainskloof Pass was closed after winds uprooted trees, leaving them strewn across the road.

He said the pass was expected to reopen later on Wednesday.

Chapman's Peak was still closed after a six ton wedge of weathered sandstone became dislodged, according to the City of Cape Town's department of transport.

Winds in the Mother City were said to be gusting at speeds of between 40 and 50 kilometres per hour.

Weather forecaster Kate Turner said that although Capetonians were used to the wind, it was unusual to experience such a strong southeaster at this time of year.

''We normally get this in summer, it is a bit out of the ordinary,'' she said.

Read more on:    jp smith  |  cape town  |  weather

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