Gauteng emergency services on high alert ahead of rainy weekend

On Thursday night, the province had its first single-digit overnight temperatures of the year.

FILE: The weather service has issued a warning of severe thunderstorms in most parts of Johannesburg this weekend. Picture: © dyxum/123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng residents will have to reach for their warm blankets as temperatures will drop from Friday with widespread showers and thundershowers forecast for the next few days.

On Thursday night, the province had its first single-digit overnight temperatures of the year.

Emergency services are on high alert across Gauteng as the province braces for cold and rainy weather conditions over the weekend.

The SA Weather Service said temperatures were expected to drop at lows of between 10 and 13 degrees.

EMS teams have been stationed in different hotspot areas in all the three metros in the province.

The weather service has issued a warning of severe thunderstorms in most parts of Johannesburg this weekend.

Forecaster Tokelo Chiloane said there would be a risk of flooding across the country.

“We will be expecting a 60% chance of showers and thundershowers in some parts of Gauteng, it will feel like it’s an 80%, because this is a rain prediction system so it can feel like that, so we are going for 60% for now,” said Chiloane.

Joburg EMS Spokesperson, Robert Mulaudzi, said there could be flash floods in some areas, but officials were on standby.

“We therefore would like to urge all of our residents throughout all seven regions of the city to exercise caution, especially our motorists to extend the safe following distance.”

Mulaudzi also cautioned the public to avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams, especially when water is more than ankle-deep.

The City of Ekurhuleni's Disaster and Emergency Management Services are also on high alert.

“We would like to encourage members of the public as well to be on high alert, especially those in the low-lying areas and motorists who will be driving on the road,” said spokesperson William Ntladi.