City of Ekurhuleni’s Disaster and Emergency Management Services has warned residents to be alert at home and on the roads as the South African Weather Services say there’ll be more rainfall.
Heavy downpours may result in flooding. Residents are urged to look after their personal and pets’ safety, livestock, and personal belongings and properties.
Spokesperson Willie Ntladi said while rescue teams are ready, heavy downpours with thunderstorms were the most dangerous.
“They cause power outages and damage infrastructures and water levels rise rapidly, elevating the risk of flooding. Floods can occur either with little warning or develop slowly after rain has ceased over the low-lying areas.”
With matric pupils now writing exams, Ntladi said it was important that parents ensure they leave earlier than usual for school and exam centres, in case rivers, spruits, and culverts they cross on their way are flooded. They can use alternative routes.
“In general, parents are encouraged to accompany little children to their different learning institutions for safety reasons.
“The pipeline surfaces are slippery. Pedestrians walking on them might find themselves falling into the flooded rivers and drown. Trenches left open are acting as a death trap. Unsuspecting pedestrians might find themselves falling in and ultimately drown.”
Ntladi said people living in low-lying areas should take special precautions during adverse weather conditions.
He said they should monitor the rising water levels and evacuate to a safer place or higher spots in case the water level rises.
Ntladi offers additional safety measures:
l Do not walk, swim or drive through floodwaters, turn around and use an alternative route; stay away from bridges over a fast-moving water current.
l Depending on the type of flooding, evacuate if told to do so.
l Monitor weather alerts on radios and televisions and avoid driving through flooded areas and standing water, which can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and crash.
l Do not drink flood water, or use it to wash dishes, brush teeth, or wash/prepare food. Drink clean, safe water; throw away any food and bottled water that might have encountered floodwater.
l Keep your cell phone available and have emergency numbers at hand.
l Be vigilant at night. It is harder to recognise potentially deadly road and water hazards.
l Do not camp or park your car along rivers, especially during heavy rains or thunderstorms.
l If you are on foot, be aware that low-level moving water can also be dangerous during flood conditions. If you come upon moving or damming water, do not walk into it.
l Where possible, communities are encouraged to try to avoid contact with any flood waters. The water may be contaminated with raw sewage, oil or other dangerous substances, and may also be charged with electricity from fallen power lines.
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