Home South African Blow by blow: Winds wreak havoc in Cape

Blow by blow: Winds wreak havoc in Cape

268

Gale-force winds caused chaos in the Cape, with homes damaged, roads closed, trees uprooted and hundreds of people displaced.

A tree fell on six shacks in Kayamandi on Sunday. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane, Independent Newspapers

GALE-force winds caused chaos around the Cape and the City of Cape Town, with homes damaged, roads closed, trees uprooted and hundreds of people displaced.

A decision has been taken to close all Western Cape Education Department (WCED) schools in the Cape Winelands district, Overberg and Helderberg basin on Monday as a precaution.

A Level 9 weather warning has been issued by the South African Weather Service (SAWS) for the southern parts of the Cape Winelands and Overberg districts.

In one shocking incident this past weekend, the trailer of a truck was blown off the bridge at the Huguenot Tunnel on the N1 highway. Luckily the truck driver was unharmed.

Sections of Baden Powell Drive remain closed due to hazardous conditions. The road is shut between Strandfontein Road and Capricorn Circle in Muizenberg, as well as between Oscar Mpetha and Mew Way in Khayelitsha. Motorists are advised to avoid these areas.

The City’s Disaster Risk Management said they responded to a number of incidents relating to the stormy conditions.

Spokesperson Charlotte Powell said: “Somerset Mall has been closed due to roof sheeting that’s blown off.”

“DRM also responded to Morkels Cottage as well as the Donkerbos informal settlement in Somerset West, where the roofs have blown off some structures. Emergency Medical Services responded to the Morkel’s Cottage as there had been a few injuries.

“There’ve also been reports of roofs blown off in Somerset West, Macassar, Mitchells Plain and Clifton.

“The Recreation and Parks Department is clearing uprooted trees in Somerset west, Macassar, Sea Point and Philippi.”

Somerset Mall was closed due to roof damage. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane, Independent Newspapers

It was also a sad day for the owners of the historic Blaauwklippen farm in Stellenbosch where three iconic buildings were burnt to the ground after a fire broke out on the neighbouring farm in the early hours of Sunday morning, fanned by wind gusts of up 139km per hour. No injures were reported.

Meanwhile in Paarl, a Kayamandi man whose home was crushed by a tree managed to escape without injuries.

Six shacks were destroyed by the uprooted tree.

A similar incident occurred in Donkerbos where five families were displaced after a tree fell on their homes. No one was injured.

In Endlovini, Khayelitsha, 155 homes were flattened by the gale-force winds and councillor Lonwabo Mqina said they were still tallying the damage.

During a briefing on Sunday, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said schools in the Overberg, Cape Winelands, and Helderberg areas would be closed on Monday.

“This was not an easy decision, as we always want our children in schools to learn, but given the severity of the weather system and advice from authorities, schools in these regions will be closed (on Monday),” he said.

“Schools in other areas could be closed, but this will be on a case-by-case basis following the relevant approvals from the WCED as per protocols. Independent schools and ECD centres are also urged to follow the department’s lead.”

Previous articleBlood not Joshlin’s: DNA test on clothes found in field not a match
Next articleFinancial markets remain under pressure