Forecasters: #CapeStorm worst to hit CT in 3 decades

There’s been quite a bit of damage already and the storm hasn’t reached its peak yet.

Thick clouds hanging over Cape Town. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN – The Mother City is in the grips of a monstrous storm that's causing havoc across the peninsula.

Forecasters predict this will be the worst storm to hit the city in three decades.

There’s been quite a bit of damage already and the storm hasn’t reached its peak yet.

Disaster management officials have also had their hands full with numerous weather related incidents.

Shacks in Imizamo Yethu and Macassar Village have been blown away.

Homes in Strand, Delft, Mfuleni and Kalkfontein have also been damaged.

At one house in Lavender Hill, a woman and a child were injured when their roof blew off.

A local says that the howling winds were scary.

“The gale force winds were terrible. Many people complained about their gates, garages and carports.”

Some shelters say they've seen an increase in homeless people seeking accommodation amid the storm.

More than 1,000 people have taken refuge at the Haven Shelter in Cape Town.

The facility's Hassan Khan says: “We had more people knocking on our door and have 97% occupancy. Our next response would be to have people sit on chairs in dining halls and provide them with blankets.”

Following gale force winds overnight, power cables have also come down in various areas, including Athlone, Goodwood and Parow Valley.

Some people have been left without electricity.

In Fish Hoek, a house was struck by lightning in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Berg Road resident Alan Dickinson says his family has been left rattled.

Dickinson explains what happened: “A bolt of lightning smashed our house. Before the crack in the sky, the house felt like it had been punched. It was followed by this incredible crack and all the light went off.”

The wind has also uprooted trees across the peninsula. In one incident, a tree crashed into a block of flats in Plumstead.

TRANSPORT

Public transport is expected to be widely affected, but schools and universities have been closed for the day.

Many Capetonians are opting to stay home and wait out the weather.

At the Huguenot Tunnel, no trucks are allowed to enter as a result of a power failure thought to have been caused by the storm.

Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa says officials are monitoring all major routes.

Chapman's Peak Drive has also been closed.

In the Grabouw area, an uprooted tree has led to the closure of the N2.

Meanwhile, Cape Town International Airport is open and officials have reported no major delays.

South African Airways issued a statement, saying they'll be monitoring the situation.

The airport did undertake a major storm preparation exercise in the run-up to the cold front hitting.

SEA CONDITIONS

Provincial government has raised concerns about sea conditions as the day progresses. Swells are expected to reach up to 13m high. Officials fear this will cause damage to low-lying areas close to the coast. They’ve asked Capetonians to stay clear of the beaches and oceanside walkways.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

Keep revisiting the EWN #CapeStorm live blog for updates