Severe weather plunges Western Cape into chaos

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The Western Cape has been plunged into chaos as a severe weather system lashes the province. As information and calls for help is still coming in, two people are missing as a result of heavy flooding. The N2 highway at Botrivier has been cut off, making travelling to and from Cape Town impossible.

Towns such as Bredasdorp, Hermanus, Struisbaai and De Doorns recorded great downpours, turning roads into rivers.

Two people missing amid severe weather conditions in the Western Cape:

At Bredasdorp in the Cape Agulhas Municipality, over 150 millimeters of rain fell since last night. The town has been cut off from the outside.

At Botrivier on the N2, the river broke its banks, make the N2 highway completely inaccessible. Numerous roads across the province remain unsafe and flooded this evening.

Meanwhile, some residents at Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, near Somerset West, in Cape Town, say it was heartbreaking to see the devastation that was caused in the area by an intense cold front that the City is experiencing.

Heavy rainfall and gale force winds have caused flooding and damage in various areas. A number of structures in Sir Lowry’s Pass Village were affected.

A youth leader in the area, Melvin Ambrose elaborates, “My plea is to a lot of government officials and even to the City. Help our people, because I think it could be also you guys tomorrow that also need our assistance. So the one hand helps the other hand.”

Humanitarian aid organisation, Gift of the Givers is assisting residents hardest hit by the inclement weather. Spokesperon, Ali Sablay says road closures across the province are making it difficult to reach all the affected areas.

“We have stretched our teams, all over the Western Cape. And this is a problem we wont be able to solve in a day, it will take a few days to reach all this people. But our teams are on the ground ready to assist.”

Update | Severe weather conditions in the Western Cape:

An urgent plea has been made to communities to source their information about possible evacuations from legitimate sources.

Provincial Minister of Local Government, Anton Bredell explains, “We try to communicate through our municipalities so that will be the official channel of communication, please don’t send on fake messages, listen to the Mayors, they all out there on the ground working with the teams.”

Hundreds of people have been displaced by the heavy rain and damaging winds in the Western Cape. Authorities say two people are missing after their vehicle was swept away by flooding.

A number of residents have been evacuated from their houses and moved to community halls for safety.

Pictures supplied by Mercedes Besent

Delay Travel 

Western Cape transport authorities are urging residents to not leave their current location and delay their travel due to widespread road closures and unsafe conditions on the roads. Officials are tending to several incidents of fallen trees and rockfalls across the province.

The provincial Minister of Mobility, Ricardo Mackenzie is appealing to motorists who are already travelling on affected routes to please consider turning back and finding alternative accommodation for the night.

“There are closures on all major roadways, including the N1, N2, R60, R62, and various other roads across the province. Traffic is moving very slowly on heavily congested routes near Worcester. Provincial Traffic Law Enforcement is assisting local authorities with traffic control and teams from the Department of Infrastructure are working to restore damaged roadways as quickly as possible.”

SA Weather Services warn of severe weather conditions in large parts of the Western Cape: