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Damage after rains

Council’s winter preparedness plan was put to the test with numerous incidents of flooding and storm damage reported after heavy rains about two weeks ago.

In a statement, the City of Cape Town said the wet weather also brought an inevitable rise in sewerage and stormwater system blockages and overflows due to illegal dumping.

“Illegal dumping in stormwater channels, sewers and canals comes at a massive cost,” said Mayor Dan Plato, “not only because it increases the risk of flooding when it rains, but also because it requires resources and funding to clean, which could have been spent on other services. All our planning is not as effective without the assistance of our residents, who have to help us keep these waterways clear.”

Incidents of flooding were reported in Nomzamo and surrounds, confirmed Subcouncil 8 chairperson Chantal Cerfontein. She said residents affected by the flooding were provided with sand and plastic bags in a bid to mitigate the occurrence.

Trees were also reportedly uprooted in Somerset West and parts of Strand experienced a power outage.

Subcouncil 24 chairperson Stuart Pringle stated that flooding also took place in Macassar and Sir Lowry’s Pass Village.

“The City’s Disaster Risk Management has been assisting in several areas,” he said. “The Lourens River flood alleviation work appears to have successfully prevented large-scale flooding of its banks.”

The City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre handled just more than 1 000 calls, with 367 taken overnight and 713 answered during the day. Just less than 60% of calls were flood-related, equally spread between informal and formal housing, while 40% were storm-related calls.

The municipality’s Winter Readiness Plan includes identifying at-risk informal settlements, and moving residents to higher ground or implementing flood-mitigation measures, and ongoing education and awareness programmes around floods and fires, among others.

Residents can reduce risks to their properties by cleaning gutters, pruning trees and clearing obstructions in waterways.

To report flooding, blocked drains and service disruptions, contact the City’s call centre on 0860 103 089.

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