Vaal River flood warning issued

2011-01-06 13:09
Johannesburg - The Emfuleni Municipality in Gauteng and the Mpumalanga province issued flood warnings on Thursday after main rivers began overflowing.

Heavy rains resulted in overflowing on the Vaal river in Emfuleni and the Crocodile (Mgwenya) river in Mpumalanga.

"Most houses near the Barrage sluice gates [Vaal] are under water... and a rescue team is on standby," said Emfuleni spokesperson Klaas Mofomme.

More than 40 families had already been evacuated.

Emfuleni includes two main towns - Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark - and a number of townships including Sharpeville, Evaton, Sebokeng, Bophelong and Boipatong.

Roads closed

"The river flow through the sluice gates is currently standing at three million litres per second."

A number of roads around Three Rivers were closed due to the flooding.

These included Brandmuller, Golf, Klip River, and General Hertzog roads.

Houtkop road, commonly known as Potchestroom/Vereeniging road, was the only accessible street.

The municipality urged residents to avoid the affected areas as it may be dangerous.

"Motorists are advised not to underestimate the strength of the water in the flooded areas but rather take alternative routes," said Mofomme.

Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa was scheduled to visit the Vaal dam on Thursday to see how the level was being controlled.

Kwena dam 105% full

Residents living along the Crocodile (Mgwenya) river in Mpumalanga were also urged to stay alert as the river flow had increased.

Provincial co-operative governance spokesperson Simphiwe Kunene said the communities of Kanyamazane, Matsulu and Nkomazi must be on full alert.

"The Kwena dam that feeds the Crocodile River is more than 105% full and already overflowing into the river."

He said it had increased the already high river flow.

Those living downstream near the Elands river were also warned.

"The continued rains have resulted in an increase of dam and river levels thus making small streams very dangerous," said Kunene.

"Parents are urged to warn children not to play next to streams and rivers."

Weather patterns indicate that rains will continue for the next few days.

- Are you affected? Send us your photos and eyewitness accounts
Read more on:    edna molewa  |  johannesburg  |  floods  |  weather

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