Time to batten down the hatches, it would seem. The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has released a precautionary advisory on Tuesday 4 May warning that an “intense cold front” is expected on Wednesday, bringing with it strong winds and extremely rough seas.
‘Adverse weather’ anticipated for Cape Town on Wednesday
The SAWS said that the colfrot is likely to make landfall at around 8:00 on Wednesday 5 May, and said that the City of Cape Town is set to experience heavy rains and sting winds. Seas are set to be particularly rough, and the service has released a set of warnings for those who will find navigating the choppy conditions difficult.
“Small vessels can possibly be at risk of taking on water and capsizing in a locality. There is also a possibility of difficulty in navigation such as small vessels in short period and steep waves. Localised disruptions to beachfront activities such as closure of beaches for swimming can also be expected,” they said.
“Be aware of large unpredictable waves along the coast. Small vessels are advised to seek shelter in harbours, bays or inlets. Be aware of strong rip currents especially during spring tides.”
Localised flooding expected
The impact of the cold front is expected to be most severely felt in the Theewaterskloof/grabouw areas, where SAWS wanted that “homes and businesses are likely to be flooded, causing damages to buildings”.
“Closer to mountains, fast flowing floodwater is possible, causing danger to life. Delays resulting from difficult driving conditions and some road closures is possible,” they said.
SAWS said that road conditions are likely to be dangerous.
“Be cautious on the roads and avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles. If trapped in a vehicle during a flood, abandon it and climb to higher ground. In buildings, move valuables to a safe place above the expected flood level. Switch off electricity at the supply point to the building. NEVER drive on a road covered by water. If the vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.”
City of Cape Town emergency services on standby
The City of Cape Town said on Tuesday that all relevant agencies will be primed and ready to tackle any havoc that accompanies the cold front, and warned residents to be proactive ahead of the storm.
“All City services and external agencies will be on standby to deal with the predicted adverse weather conditions,” they said. “We remind residents to please clear out any potential blockages around their homes and ensure that gutters and downpipes are clean.”
“In low-lying areas, please dig a trench around your home if possible, to allow water to run off and reduce the risk of localised flooding.”
For any weather related service requests or emergencies, residents are advised to call the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre by dialling 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.