The much anticipated storm has finally hit the Cape Peninsula at exactly 22h00 last night as forecasted. With the Western Cape Education Department making a decision yesterday to close all public schools today, 7 June for safety concerns – there were a few debates on whether the storm will really hit the Peninsula and what the big hype was all about. Many believed that the Climatologists and weather forecasting websites got it wrong yet again as it was still blue skies until late on Tuesday afternoon. Well it has finally hit us and it has lived up to its expectations and reached its climax. With my employer making a last minute decision yesterday afternoon to close office today, I am certainly not complaining and welcomed it with open arms. No harm in staying under covers when the weather is miserable and causing havoc outside. As I’m busy typing this post, it seems as if the storm has intensified – gale force winds surely blowing at more than 80km/h with a heavy down pour. It is believed to be the worst storm to hit parts of our province in more than 30 years. And yes, I am thankful for the rain as we are in the midst of a draught and with level 4 water restrictions that was implemented by the City of Cape Town on 1 July 2017; we desperately need this rain as our damns are exceptionally low. It might not make a huge difference by filling up the dams straight away but that every mm of rain that is falling will bring some relief. But am I thankful for this gush of a wind that seems to be causing extreme damage all over – the answer is NO. Yes roads sometimes gets flooded due to heavy rain but I am not embracing this weather when trees start to uproot and fall over, electricity poles and lines fall over, roofs are blown off and debris flies all over the show. I thought that our windows are going to shatter last night and that the roof was going to lift but thankfully all is still intact.
And while my family and I are safely indoors and under the covers and enjoying a warm cup of soap; this weather has some devastating implications for others. My thoughts are with those who lost their lives, those who are homeless, those whose homes are flooded or washed away, whose roofs blew off and those who find themselves out there in the cold looking for some shelter and warmth. Thankfully the City has been on high alert and the Disaster Risk Management is assisting those that are in need and evacuating where necessary.
If you are experiencing any electricity outages or flooding in your area please take note of the following. The City of Cape Town’s call centre is currently experiencing high call volumes due to the weather and people are advised to rather send a sms to report any incidents.
SMS 31373 for blocked drains and water related faults
SMS 31220 for all electricity related faults or outages
And for any emergencies such as flooding or life threatening situations, please call 021 4807700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.
You can also tweet the City of Cape Town on @CityofCT
This rain water can be utilised for domestic use – you can do the following:
- Taking off your pool covers and filling up your pools
- Catch the rain water with buckets or drums if you don’t have a JOJO water tank
- Connect a thick pipe to your cutter and fill a drum
Please be careful on the roads, drive safely and be on the lookout for fallen trees and flooded roads. Stay away from the beach – no idea why anyone would want to go there anyway but if that thought crossed your mind – please for your own safety stay clear of those areas.
Let’s hope that more rain will fall over our province in the coming weeks and months but for now stay safe, warm and dry.