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Severe storm warning as hail, rain pummel parts of Gauteng

26 February 2021 - 14:36 By shonisani tshikalange
Flash floods in Alberton, Gauteng, after heavy downpours on February 26 2021.
Flash floods in Alberton, Gauteng, after heavy downpours on February 26 2021.
Image: Yusuf Abramjee/Twitter

Heavy rain and hail caused havoc in parts of Gauteng on Friday, flooding roads and leaving a thick coating of ice on the ground.

Johannesburg emergency management services (EMS) and Ekurhuleni disaster and emergency management services (DEMS) were on high alert.

The SA Weather Service warned of a severe storm moving to Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni, with large amounts of small hail, strong winds and heavy rainfall.

The weather service issued a level 2 warning for severe thunderstorms from the afternoon until midnight.

The thunderstorm was expected over the southern parts of Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni, spreading to the northern parts of both districts, with hail, strong winds and heavy downpours leading to localised flooding.

Video clips of flooded roads, a flooded hospital in Alberton and schools were shared on social media.

EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said by around 1.30pm there had been no serious incidents reported in Johannesburg.

“We remain on high alert monitoring all seven regions of the city,” he said.

DEMS spokesperson William Ntladi said the service was on high alert after heavy downpours.

“From yesterday, we were on high alert and we are making sure we will be able to respond. We would like to notify residents and motorists driving across low-level bridges to be on high alert and to keep a safe following distance,” he said.

He advised pedestrians to use alternative routes if their daily routes were flooded.