The Tshwane emergency services have issued a warning for possible flooding in Pretoria.
Spokesperson, Johan Pieterse said the department is on high alert and were monitoring known areas where flooding normally takes place.
“The public must take note that low-lying bridges crossing rivers might be temporarily closed for safety reasons,” he said.
Motorists were warned not to cross low-water bridges when it is overflowing.
He said the force of the water is likely to carry the vehicle from the road downstream.
Pieterse said motorists were further warned to avoid making U-turns during rainy weather, as visibility is poor and this might lead to serious accidents.
Low-lying bridges in the Centurion area that present a possible risk of being flooded are those at:
-Rabie Street and End Street
-Nellmapius Road and Albert Street
-End Street and Witstinkhout Street
-Lenchen South Street (between West Street
and Embankment Road)
-Lenchen North Street (at the Centurion Lake
-Blackwood Street (between Harvard Street and Witstinkhout Street)
-Lyttelton Road (between Leyden Street and Fairways Street)
-West Street and South Street (behind the Centurion Cricket Stadium)
-Smuts Avenue (at the bridge near the Old Age Home)
-Nellmapius Road (between Main Road and Smuts Avenue)
ALSO READ: Warnings of floods in Centurion
Pieterse said the following regions were classified as risk areas:
-Nellmapius, Ikageng and Mamelodi East
-Olievenhoutbosch, Centurion and developments close to river banks
-Mabopane, Lebanon, Plastic View, New Eersterus and Winterveldt
-Soshanguve Block XX
-Eersterus (ward 8), Stinkwater (ward 13), Hammanskraal (Kanana ward 74 and 75), Ramotse (ward 73), Kudube (ward 75) and Montana (ward 5)
Pieterse said the low-water bridge at Es’kia Mphahlele Road and Flowers Street is also monitored and might be closed.
“Motorists must be on the lookout for fallen trees or potholes that might have developed due to the constant rain,” he said.
He said all emergencies must be reported immediately, for the relevant services to respond.
“Motorists must remain calm in any situation and have patience with one another on the road – drive slowly and keep the proper following distance,” he said.
“Always try to assist people in need and obey all emergency messages that are broadcasted.”
Emergency services urged the residents to keep children away from open water in fielded areas, rivers and ponds.
Would you know what to do if you were trapped in a flash flood?
Pieterse said to always keep calm and think swiftly.
“If you are caught in a flash flood, do not drive through or over a flooded road or bridge,” he said.
“Turn back and try a higher route and do not stay in the flooded area.”
Pieterse said if a vehicle is surrounded by water, get out and seek higher ground.
“If you are stranded in a tree or building, don’t leave it to enter the flood water. Make alarm and wait for rescuers,” he said.
Pieterse also provided the following tips when facing a flash flood:
– Be very aware of your vehicle’s limitations. If you drive through water that is 15cm deep or more, your car could lose control and stall. Furthermore, 30cm of water is enough to float most vehicles, and 60cm of rushing water can indeed carry away cars, SUVs and pick-ups.
– Do not panic if your vehicle becomes submerged by flood waters. Release your seat belt, roll down your window and get out of the vehicle. If your windows would not open, let the vehicle fill with water. Once that happens, you will be able to open the doors. Get out of the vehicle immediately and swim to the surface. Do not stay in the vehicle until it sinks.
– If you are swept away in fast-moving water, try to make sure your feet are pointed downstream.
– If you are swept away, make every effort to direct your body over obstacles rather than under them.
– If you are on foot, be aware that you can be knocked down by just 15cm of moving water. If you come upon moving water, do not walk into it.
– If you can, try to avoid contact with any flood waters. The water may be contaminated with raw sewage, oil or gasoline, and may also be charged with electricity from down power lines.
– Be especially vigilant at night when it is harder to recognise potentially deadly road hazards.
ALSO READ: Flash floods warning in Tshwane
– Do not camp or park your vehicle along rivers or washes, especially during heavy rains or thunderstorms.
– Stay informed. Tune in to your local radio station during bad weather.
“If a flash flood message is issued for your area, get to higher ground immediately. You may only have a few seconds before the danger is unavoidable,” Pieterse said.
He said all emergencies must be reported immediately to the Tshwane Emergency Services by calling 10177 or 012-310-6300/6400.
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