Storm surges, gale force winds, flooding: Western Cape braces for another intense cold front

2019-07-29 13:46
Motorists drive through flooded roads during heavy rainfalls on July 23, 2019 in Cape Town. (Netwerk24)

Motorists drive through flooded roads during heavy rainfalls on July 23, 2019 in Cape Town. (Netwerk24) (Jaco Marais)

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The South African Weather Service (SAWS) and the City of Cape Town has warned that an intense cold front will hit the Western Cape, bringing with it storm surges, gale force winds of 65km/h to 80km/h, high seas of about 7m and localised flooding.

The SAWS advised that the rain was expected to hit the area at roughly 21:00 on Monday but that most of the effects of the cold front would be felt on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"The cold front is expected to hit tonight (Monday), affecting mainly the western parts of the Western Cape, moving into the interior by tomorrow (Tuesday) morning," SAWS forecaster Kate Turner said.

"The storm will bring prefrontal troughs from about 20:00-21:00, where people can expect some light rain, but it will hit from midnight onward," Turner added.

The SAWS said the effects of the cold front were expected to move quickly and should last for the entire day on Tuesday, with a few showers expected on Wednesday - mainly for Cape Town, the mountainous areas, and the south coast garden route.

"The main regions affected on Tuesday will be the Cape Metropole, the Cape Winelands, and the Overberg," said Turner.

Vulnerable areas at risk

Disaster Risk Management spokesperson in the City of Cape Town, Charlotte Powell, also told News24 that other vulnerable areas were at risk.

"The Cape Metropole, of course, is at risk of flooding, as well as informal settlements, backyard dwellers, and low-lying areas.

"These areas hold the most vulnerable populations [to the storm]," Powell said.

The City of Cape Town advised residents to check their drainage systems, especially their roofs, because gale force winds were expected.

The City added that the storm should subside by Wednesday morning.

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