While Tropical Storm Eloise continues to wreak havoc in some regions of SA, Eskom has managed to avoid its wrath for the most part. On Monday 25 January, it provided an update saying that the storm has had no major negative impact on its operations. 

While that may be, Eskom continues to monitor the storm and its impact on operations as it is still moving through Mpumalanga, Limpopo and parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

RISK REMAINS WITH POSSIBLE FLOODING, SAYS ESKOM   

On Sunday night, the Tropical Storm Eloise passed through the transmission lines from Cahora Bassa in Mozambique without any incident, the power utility said. 

“The high-risk sections of the transmission lines were reinforced after similar storms in previous years. The risk, however, remains with the possible flooding of rivers and uprooting of trees in the areas surrounding the transmission lines,” it added. 

Operations at the power stations continue as normal, although Eskom teams will continue to monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Eloise and impact of the heavy rains.

Eskom said heavy rainfall for four or fewer days does not typically pose a significant threat to power station operations, however, continuous heavy rainfall for more than four days does hamper coal handling at the power stations and the mines supplying them.

While operations were not hindered, for the most part, power lines in some parts of the Mpumalanga, Limpopo and northern KwaZulu-Natal provinces did experience localised outages as a result of trees and poles falling on power lines districts due to Tropical Storm Eloise. 

“Consumers in these communities are requested to be patient as our teams are working as fast as they can within the safety parameters during the storms to restore electricity,” Eskom said. 

Customers are requested to treat all electricity infrastructure as live and to report any fallen lines or pylons, to be cautious of exposed cables, overhead power cables that may be damaged, collapsed or low-hanging as a result of the stormy weather conditions, vandalism and illegal connections. Any damage can be reported on 086-003-7566.

TROPICAL STORM ELOISE: DISASTER MANAGEMENT TEAMS ON HIGH ALERT 

After the South African Weather Service (SAWS) said that KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) would experience persistent rain due to Tropical Storm Eloise, the Cogta department in the province began to prepare. 

On Sunday 24 January, KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka urged residents to exercise extreme caution as the weather conditions were expected to deteriorate and bring the possibility of widespread flooding in areas within the uMkhanyakude district.

Hlomuka also placed disaster management teams on high alert in the uMkhanyakude district where extensive efforts began by local disaster management teams to warn residents in areas that are expected to be severely affected by the disruptive rainfall caused by Tropical Storm Eloise.

The department also engaged municipalities under the uMkhanyakude district to open community halls in the identified areas to temporarily house vulnerable families. Gauteng has also been taking its own safety precautions by having disaster management teams on high alert. 

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Presh JM Reporter

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