Rains cause havoc in Joburg

2011-03-21 07:25

 Heavy rains caused havoc in Johannesburg last night with paramedics and the police rescuing trapped motorists and evacuating shack dwellers from flooded informal settlements.

Johannesburg Emergency Services spokesperson Nana Radebe said paramedics rescued three people trapped in a bakkie and mini bus taxi at the New Canada bridge at 5pm.

“Three people were trapped in a taxi and in a bakkie,” she said.

“Rescue teams managed to get them out of the floods.

“One of those trapped was taken to hospital with hypothermia.”

Radebe said 97 shacks were flooded at the Protea South informal settlement.

“Disaster officers arrived on scene to move the people from the area,” she said.

Netcare spokesperson Jeffrey Wicks said paramedics and the police’s search-and-rescue officers rescue three people, trapped on top of their vehicle, which was washed away by a river in flood on Commando Road, Florida.

“They were treated at the scene,” he said. “There were no injuries.”

Wicks said paramedics and police officers had rescued several people from two other vehicles which had also been overrun by water.

“They are being treated for symptoms of hypothermia,” he said.

Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar asked motorists to reduce speed as there were many pools of rain water around the city.

Several intersections and roads around Johannesburg were underwater following the heavy rain.

In Soweto the intersection of Klip Valley and Khumalo roads in Orlando West, as well as the crossing of Elias Motsoaledi and Main roads in Dobsonville were flooded.

Motorists were also advised to be careful on both the north- and south-bound sections of the M1 double-decker highway between Smit and Crown streets, due to overflowing stormwater drains.

“Motorists should make sure they maintain a safe following distance,” he said.

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