Flood-hit Cape braces for more heavy rain
Emergency services are urging drivers to exercise extreme caution on the roads this weekend.
CAPE TOWN – The South African Weather Service warns more heavy rain is set to hit the Western Cape over the weekend as the province battles to recover from heavy storms on Friday night.
There were dramatic rescue scenes overnight as jet skis and vehicles belonging to the National Sea Rescue Institute were deployed to evacuate patients and staff from the Vergelegen Mediclinic in Somerset West.
All patients were safely evacuated from the premises and the facility has been temporary closed while mop-up operations get underway.
Flash floods forced officials to evacuate the Vergelegen Mediclinic in Somerset West on 15 November 2013. Picture: @modernwebinfo/Twitter.
An official has confirmed everyone is safe and patients have been accommodated at neighbouring hospitals.
Members of the public have been barred from entering the hospital and there is restricted access to it as the road near the entrance has flooded.
Senior hospital management officials are meeting to discuss the situation.
Various parts of the Helderberg area had to be evacuated when the Lourensford River burst its banks following the severe cold front and heavy rain late on Friday afternoon, leaving scores of people stranded, with some trapped on the roofs of their homes.
Somerset West was also left without power.
Flooding in Somerset West has left cars stranded after heavy rains on 15 November 2013. Picture: Chanel September/EWN.
Chapman’s Peak has been closed to traffic and many other roads have been submerged throughout the region.
The city’s Wilfred Solomons-Johannes warns drivers to be careful.
“There are numerous roads closed in the peninsula and our traffic services, law enforcement and metro police are on duty to redirect people at various locations. There will be some delays on the roadways and we call on motorists to exercise caution – slow down and switch on your headlights.”
Overberg Fire and Disaster Management’s Reinard Geldenhuys says a number of roads throughout the region are closed.
“We have got several critical roads closed in the area due to flooding. The R43 between Stanford and Hermanus is completely closed. The access road to Infanta is completely closed and several other secondary roads are being closed as we speak.”
The R44 between Gordon’s bay and Rooiels Bay is also closed.
Disaster management teams will provide relief aid to affected residents housed in community halls.
No deaths or injuries have been reported.
(Edited by Craig Wynn)
Circle Centre on Main Road in Somerset West was flooded on 15 November 2013. Picture: @modernwebinfo/Twitter