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Flooding alert: Residents surrounding Vaal & Bloemhof dams urged to vacate homes

The Water & Sanitation Department says due to the heavy rains in both areas they are expecting both dams to be full by Sunday.

FILE: Vaal dam. Picture: Louise McAuliffe/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Water and Sanitation Department has urged residents living around the Vaal Dam and Bloemhof Dam to vacate their homes ahead of possible flooding this weekend.

Department spokesperson Sputnik Ratua says due to the heavy rains in both areas in recent days they are expecting both dams to be full by Sunday.

The department says in order to avoid the dams from bursting, they will open two sluice gates at the Vaal Dam and eight at the Bloemhof Dam, which could result in flooding.

Residents of Douglas, where the Vaal and Orange rivers meet, have been told to be especially vigilant.

Ratau says they are doing all they can to ensure to mitigate damage to property and loss of life.

“We would be working together with the municipalities, other national government departments, like Cooperate governance and traditional affairs, and therefore through those we will be in contact with emergency services, the SAPS, the SANDF and all other spheres of national government.”

On Thursday, the Department said Vaal Dam levels had passed the 81% mark, the highest it’s been in two years.

The dam's levels fell significantly last year due to the drought which gripped parts of South Africa.

(Edited by Neo Koza)

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