Partial road collapse as bad weather ravages Cape Town

2015-11-01 20:02
(Picture: City of Cape Town)

(Picture: City of Cape Town)

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Cape Town - It will take at least 3 days before a stretch of Strandfontein Road that partially collapsed after a strong surge of water pushed over a massive concrete pillar on Sunday, could be open for traffic again.

Traffic authorities were alerted to the collapse between Govan Mbeki and New Ottery roads at about 11:00, Cape Town Traffic spokesperson Richard Coleman said. The area affected is mostly industrial, he said

Cape Town experienced stormy weather conditions with high winds and rain on Sunday.

Coleman said a stream ran underneath the stretch of road, but with the downpour the waters swelled and surged, lifting some of the concrete slabs supporting the road, and knocking over one of the pillars.

"This was really unusual, this is usually just a small stream," Coleman said.

Cape Town weather office forecaster Carlton Fillis earlier warned that some lightning and rain might however still persists in areas like the Overberg and the extreme south west parts of the Cape winelands area, such as Paarl and Swellendam.

Fillis said the stormy weather conditions had been brought on by the strong winds of a black south-easter in the southern parts of the country: "Bringing with it a lot of moisture – and with the upper air being very cold - you will have unstable conditions".

Early on Sunday, the occupants of a Sunningdale home in Table View, onto which an Eskom pylon collapsed in stormy weather on Sunday, had a lucky escape after they made a last-minute decision to sleep over elsewhere, the area’s neighbourhood watch said.

However, their cat has apparently gone missing in the aftermath of the accident in Cherry Hills when the 132 KV power line blew over, with the tower crashing into their roof and "ripping it apart", said Table View neighbour watch executive committee member Garth Bruwer.

He said the couple who lived in the house “were in Darling at the time and they decided to sleep over and not come home”.

Bruwer said that there had been dogs and the cat in the house at the time.  While the dogs were rescued, the cat had not yet been found.

A car was also trapped in the area between wires going across its front and back. Its bumper had also come off.  However, the occupant had escaped and was safe.

He said that although the wires were no longer live, it was a huge procedure to get cranes to lift the tower back up and remove all the cables.

Meanwhile, Eskom provincial spokesperson Jolene Henn, confirmed the incident was caused by the “adverse weather".

She said that an accident on this scale was unprecedented, and the company would be investigating how it happened.

Henn said 36 000 customers were affected by the collapse, but power supply had been re-routed to another point – and as such power had returned within six minutes.  She said that if any households were not yet back on the grid, they should log a call, as there might be individual faults at play.

"Nobody was injured but the tower did damage a residential property. Eskom has made contact with the family and are assisting them on the claims process to follow."

Read more on:    cape town  |  weather

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