Department of Water and Sanitation releases more water from the Vaal Dam following heavy rainfall

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The Department of Water and Sanitation has released more water from the Vaal Dam in an effort to reduce the water levels following heavy rainfall in the dams catchment area.

Downstream the levels of the Bloemhof dam are rising rapidly and more water is being released as well as leading to fears of possible flooding.

The department’s spokesperson Sputnik Ratau has advised the public to be vigilant as the rain continues.

“We would expect that there would be that localised flooding. But we are also saying because there will be a rise in the Vaal River, as well as the Orange River as the flow continues [and] as the rain continues, people will need to really be as cautious as possible and even more around the areas where they work and the areas where they live,” adds Ratau.

Systems in place to assist Bloemhof residents as water levels expected to rise:

On Monday, residents along the banks of the Vaal River in Bloemhof and Christiana started to evacuate their homes and guesthouses.

Local guesthouse owner Sias Meyer told the SABC that they were warned that the river might reach critical levels soon and that it would be best if they evacuate for their own safety.

Persistent rain in the Vaal River catchment area has seen the water levels of the Vaal Dam increase significantly over the past 24 hours.

The Bloemhof Dam is currently at 108% capacity with a discharge of 1022 cubic meters per second.

This will see river levels downstream from the dam increase at an alarming rate.

The Lekwa Teemane Local municipality has confirmed that their disaster management teams will be on standby to assist residents to evacuate.

A local church has offered their facilities for the storage of furniture and household goods.

In the video below, some residents along the banks of the Vaal River evacuate their houses: