Mudslides‚ cold and rain for SA

15 November 2017 - 12:45 By Petru Saal And Matthew Savides
A flooded road in Knysna on 14 November 2017.
A flooded road in Knysna on 14 November 2017.
Image: Tony Geldenhuys

Knysna residents – still rebuilding after devastating fires – now face mudslides as a cold snap hits parts of South Africa.

Knysna Municipality warned residents on Tuesday night to be cautious of mudslides from barren mountain slopes‚ which were seared by raging fires in the southern Cape earlier this year.

Gauteng can expect a big chill to settle over the province from late on Wednesday as snowfall was forecast for parts of the country‚ along with heavy rain and gale force winds.

“Motorists travelling on the N2 between Knysna and Sedgefield‚ please be aware of possible landslides. Caution to all motorists. Mudslides between Buffelsbaai and Sedgefield. One lane is currently closed to traffic. Please be patient and safe on the road‚” said Knysna Municipality spokesperson Chumisa Kalawe.

Several homes were flooded in the town. 

The South African Weather Service issued a warning for heavy rain and gale force winds in parts of the country on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Heavy rain leading to flooding is expected over the eastern parts of the Eastern Cape‚ KwaZulu-Natal and the southern-eastern parts of Mpumalanga. Localized flooding is expected over the south coast and the adjacent interior of the Western Cape in the morning.”

Temperatures will plummet in Gauteng. Johannesburg will reach 23°C on Wednesday but get the winter woollies ready for Thursday – starting at 9°C with a predicted maximum of 16°C. Pretoria will be 27°C on Wednesday and a cooler 19°C on Thursday.

A watch was also issued for snow‚ expected on the mountainous areas of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. ReenvalSA‏ shared pictures of snow on Matroosberg in the Western Cape.

“Disruptive snowfalls expected over the Winterberge and the southern Drakensberg of the Eastern Cape and also over the south-western high grounds of KwaZulu-Natal. Severe thunderstorms expected over the eastern parts of Limpopo‚ the highveld of Mpumalanga and the north-eastern parts of the Free State‚” said the weather service.

Farmers in the Eastern Cape were warned about heavy rains and low temperatures.

“The public and the small stock farmers are advised of the following: Heavy rainfall expected in the Wild coast and adjacent midlands (Eastern Cape) on Thursday morning. Very cold conditions are expected over the northern interior of the Eastern Cape on Wednesday and Thursday spreading to the south-western high ground of KwaZulu-Natal and extreme north-eastern parts of the Free State on Thursday.

“Strong interior winds of 50 to 60 km/h are expected over the interior of the Northern Cape‚ Free State‚ North West and the northern interior of the Eastern Cape and the north-eastern parts of the Western Cape on Wednesday‚” said the weather service.

In KwaZulu-Natal rough sea conditions forced the KZN Shark Board to remove shark nets along the coastline.

The board said on Wednesday morning that a low pressure weather system‚ which could lead to heavy rain and possible storms across the province‚ could cause rough seas and strong swells. This could damage the nets‚ said head of operations Mike Anderson-Reade.

ReenvalSA also tweeted an image of a flooded road in Suurbrak in the Overberg area.

The weather service posted an updated satellite image on Wednesday.