'It's such an awesome feeling to hear and feel the rain': Relief for Beaufort West, but flood warning issued

2019-04-23 10:59
Beaufort West (Supplied)

Beaufort West (Supplied)

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The townsfolk of Beaufort West were overjoyed to wake up to the pitter-patter of rain, which will hopefully fall long enough to break a catastrophic drought, the municipality's spokesperson said on Tuesday. 

"It is such an awesome feeling to hear the rain, to feel the rain," spokesperson Marlene Hendricks said. 

"To see the rain running down the street - we are so grateful to the Lord for this rain," she said. 

However, the SA Weather Service has cautioned the Western Cape town, saying flooding could be expected between 12:00 and 23:00.

Nonetheless, people were delighted by the sight of animals on the surrounding farms walking up to pools of fresh water to drink, since the rain started on Monday morning.

She said some people had been late for work on Tuesday because they were playing in the rain - some just standing in it, enjoying the feeling.

Hendricks said it would lift the water tables and, most importantly, give hope to the residents and farmers of one of the oldest municipalities in South Africa. 

Since January, the situation has been so dire that emergency water rations of 10 litres a day were being distributed to residents in high-lying areas of Beaufort West, as three rounds of "water shedding" per day were introduced. 

Also read: Gift of the Givers to unveil aquifer project in drought-stricken Beaufort West

The first is 09:00 to noon, the second is between 14:00 and 16:00, and the last is between 19:00 and 06:00 the next day. 

This meant people had to plan their days around the few hours' water supply they would have.

Not out of danger

Gift of the Givers was assisting with drilling boreholes, and bottled water was being dropped off at houses where the pressure was too low to get to the remaining water.

However, the town would still be careful with its supplies until it was completely out of danger.

They would still have water shedding between 19:00 and 6:00 every day. 

Beaufort West is dependent on three different water sources - mainly the Gamka Dam, Springfontein Dam and Walker Dam - and 36 boreholes in six aquifers, and a water reclamation plant.

Read more on:    beaufort west  |  drought  |  water
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