Water and Sanitation on Southern Cape floods
Update on flooding situation in the Southern Cape
While flooding may have undesirable effects, DWS is pleased with the heavy rainfalls as they will bring relief to the drought stricken Little Karoo
The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) wishes to update citizens about the Southern Cape floods. A weather alert was issued by South African Weather Service on 21 November 2021 regarding heavy rains in the Southern Cape.
Sputnik Ratau DWS National Spokesperson says more than 100mm has fallen on the town of George and its surrounding areas since 2 a.m. on 22 November 2021. “Localized flooding has been reported in George. A lot of the roads in the low-lying areas of George have been closed off”, says Ratau
The local municipality's Joint Operations Centre (JOC) has already been activated, and the DWS hydrology team is in constant contact with the JOC
Ratau further states that while flooding may have undesirable effects, DWS is pleased with the heavy rainfalls as they will bring relief to the drought stricken Little Karoo. This region has been in dire need of rains at it has received inadequate rainfall for the past few years
The Garden Route Dam has received 112mm of rain and is already spilling. At 12h11 today the Garden Route Dam had received 139 mm already. The Garden Route Dam supplies drinking water to the town of George.
The other significant dam in the area is the Wolwedans Dam. The dam supplies water to the Mossel Bay Municipality and PetroSA. The catchment of the Wolwedans Dam has received 85mm rainfall. At 11h43 today, the Wolwedans dam was 96.6 % full and will fill up during the rest of the day and is expected to spill before 13h00.
At the bottom of the Wolwedans Dam is the Groot Brak Estuary where people live in the floodline. On 17 Nov 2021 the Groot Brak Estuary was breached to ensure that flooding will not take place. If the breaching of the estuary did not take place, there would have been serious flooding of the Groot Brak town. The DWS George Hydrology office is part of the committee that assisted with the breaching of the estuary.
70mm of rain fell in the town of Oudtshoorn. This also resulted in localized flooding
As the floods are intensifying DWS has this advisory below for the members of the public:
- Taking precautions when crossing bridges and other water systems is advised as there may be localized flooding
- Public is advised not to conduct any recreational activities near dams, streams, etc.
- Avoid parking cars under or near trees due to the danger of debris
The Department of Water and Sanitation would like to assure citizens that it is working closely with the affected local municipalities and disaster management structures to prevent further damage to properties and minimize loss of life.
“Water is Life, Sanitation is Dignity”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Department of Water and Sanitation, Republic of South Africa.