South Africa

Flooding, mudslides and major road closures as rain lashes Garden Route

kaaimans pass flooding garden route mossel bay

Heavy rain has caused devastating mudslides and flooding leading to road closures along the Garden Route on Saturday.

Emergency response teams have been removing fallen trees from roads and clearing debris after a heavy and relentless downpour of rain since Friday caused chaos and havoc along the Garden Route, in the Western Cape.

Motorists are urged to exercise extreme caution as low-lying areas have been flooded and river banks are overflowing, forcing the closure off several roads between Klein Brak and Great Brak River.

The heavy rains are significantly affecting the road network between Wilderness and George.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Destruction and flooding as storm lashes Western Cape

Flooding and mudslides: Stop-and-go at Kaaiman’s Pass

A stop-and-go operation has also been put in place on the N2 at Kaaiman’s Pass outside George due to a mudslide. While one lane is open, traffic is moving slowly.

The George Municipality advised motorists travelling between Wilderness and George to use the Saasveld Road as an alternative route. However, that road has also since been closed as a result of fallen trees.  

“Sanral is addressing the problem,” the municipality said.

Authorities also closed roads over low-water bridges in Mossel Bay, Oudtshoorn and Kannaland.

Mossel Bay flooding

The Mossel Bay Municipality said it was monitoring several rivers in flood, including the Great Brak, Leeukloof and Kouma rivers.

The Pine Creek Caravan Park on the Great Brak River, is flooded while the Wolwedans Dam was overflowing.

Emergency response teams, including Mossel Bay Fire, Rescue and Disaster Management Services, have been actively involved in assisting the residents of Pine Creek and Great Brak River to reach safety.

Garden Route road closures:

  • Zorgfontein Road, Klein Brak River;
  • Geelbeksvlei Road, Brandwag;
  • Haelkraal Road, Ruiterbos; and
  • Access road to Leeukloof.

The heavy rains are significantly affecting the road network throughout George and its neighbouring regions. As such, motorists are strongly advised to limit their travel to essential journeys only and to approach the roads with great care.

In particular, the Tradouw Pass has been closed due to a mudslide.

Numbers for emergencies:

  • Toll-free disaster number: 087 152 9999
  • All after-hours emergencies: 044 801 6300
  • Cellphone 1: 074 6218737
  • Cellphone 2: 074 423 8635

Heavy rainfall, flooding alert for Western and Eastern Cape

On Friday, the SA Weather Services (Saws) warned that significant rainfall over the Western and Eastern Cape was expected over the weekend.

“While cut-off lows are typically efficient producers of rain, often of a heavy nature, these systems also have a reputation for causing widespread severe weather such as flooding, heavy rainfall and severe thunderstorms,” it said.

“Widespread showers and thundershowers can be expected over parts of the Western and Eastern Cape [on Saturday], shifting eastwards on Sunday, when continuing to affect the Eastern Cape.”

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