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Shacks waterlogged by heavy CT rains

Over 1,200 people have already been affected by heavy rains and gale force winds in Cape Town.

FILE: Flooding in Cape Town. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - The city of Cape Town says close to 1,000 people living in informal settlements have been affected by heavy rainfall.

City official Wilfred Solomons-Johannes says more than 300 shacks throughout the city have been waterlogged.

He says affected residents are being given relief parcels.

"Areas affected include Phillipi, Bishop Lavis, Strand and Lotus River. A total of 1,286 people were assisted with blankets, hot meals and other relief items in these areas."

Heavy rainfall and strong gale force winds lashed the Cape metropolis, west coast and the Overberg regions.

The weather service says the cold weather conditions will persist until next Tuesday.

Solomons -Johannes said special teams have been placed on standby.

"Response teams are on high alert and have been deployed at various depots around the city to ensure those affected receive the necessary service."

WINTER PLAN UNVEILED

The City of Cape Town unveiled its winter plan aimed at mitigating the effects of the inclement weather on residents.

Details of the plan follows heavy rain which left more than 300 shacks waterlogged in Khayelitsha last weekend.

A total of 9 high risk areas have been prioritised, including informal settlements in Fisantekraal, Phillipi, Gugulethu and Strand.

The City's Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith said homes built on flood plains are a major concern for them, but he is confident that they are as prepared as can be.

"We also have early warning systems in place this year around our major rivers and around our major flooding areas to detect that flooding as early as possible."

Cape Town Disaster Risk Management has struck an agreement with the Swartland Municipality to institute an early warning system around the Diep River in the case of flooding.

A similar system has been set up for the Lourens River in Somerset West, which is prone to flooding.

According to the South African Weather Service, Cape Town will experience below average rainfall during early and mid-winter, but above average rainfall is expected between July and September.

The City has also appealed to residents to help keep storm water systems clear by not disposing waste into drains as it could result in flooding, but also lead to unnecessary health risks.

"We need the assistance and cooperation of the public - they will be the first ones to notice a developing problem, such as a blocked drain. If they raise the alarm early, it can mean the difference between wide-spread flooding and localised problems," said the City's Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater, Councillor Brett Herron.

Flooding, blocked drains and service disruptions can be reported to the City's Customer Contact Centre on 0860 103 089