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WC weather displaces thousands

Police are assessing flood-hit areas where more than 2,000 families have been displaced.

Flooded shacks in Khayelitsha, Cape Town after heavy rains. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape police have assessed the damage to flood-hit areas in Khayelitsha, Bishop Lavis and Nyanga following days of severe weather that has left at least four people dead.

More than 2,000 people have been displaced by storms and flash floods.

Making his way through the muddy informal settlement, Major-General Peter Jacobs said on Monday police received numerous phone calls about flooding in Khayelitsha over the weekend.

"We are the first point of contact. Most of the time we are the one place that is open 24/7. From there we engage with other departments and call them out to come and assist."

Khayelitsha residents described how their shacks were drenched by flash-flooding.

One of those affected was Thandazwa Nojoko, who said she struggled to keep the water out as she fed her three-week-old baby inside her damp shack.

She said that when the water came in she used a bucket to get the water out.

With more rain expected she knows keeping warm and dry isn't going to be easy.

Vuyiseka Buwa lives in Khayelitsha's RR section with her three young children. Her shack is situated just metres away from a stream.

To keep warm she burns wood in a rusty old metal container, which she said causes her children to cough.

Senior police officers have assessed the damage to several flood-hit areas already. But Jacobs said they have to look at how the flooding impacts on the police's ability to do their jobs.

Meanwhile, Western Cape Disaster Management officials say they are gearing up to assist more people who will be affected by stormy weather conditions as another cold front is on its way to the province.

Disaster Management's Colin Deiner says they're monitoring the situation.

"The South African Weather Service said they would give us a warning. It's difficult to say how much worse it's going to be or whether it is actually going to be worse. Obviously the warning is very clear that we're not out of it just yet."

He continued, "We realise this is not something that happens over a 24-hour period so we are bracing ourselves to be prepared for whatever other areas might be affected."

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