Tuesday, April 22, 2008

City gets ready for winter storms

By Rhodé Marshall
22 April 2008

The City of Cape Town has approved a plan to tackle the winter storms which is about to hit the Cape.

The South African Weather Service says the Western Cape can expect normal rainfall from May to September this year, but there are expectations of possible floods.

Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater, Elizabeth Thompson says they have introduced special flood risk reduction measures.

“Apart from corrective actions during flooding, the readiness plan provides for the pro-active cleaning and upgrading of stormwater infrastructure, drains, regular inspections of retention ponds and watercourses, a public education programme and a disaster response and relief management plan,” says Thompson.

She says that the City has mapped out an estimated 4000 ‘high flood risk’ structures within informal settlements that could be affected by the storms.

“A crucial part of the readiness plan is to warn residents in high risk areas about the possibility of flooding. In consultation with local communities every effort is made to warn all high risk flood prone areas of their status,” says Thompson.

Residents can reduce their vulnerability by applying the following tips:

· Make sure that the drainage system on your property is not blocked
· Raise the floor level of your house so that it is higher than the land outside
· Dig trenches around the house to redirect water away from the house
· Report any blocked drains, intakes and illegal dumping
· Water proof roofs and clear gutters

Flooding, blocked drains and service disruptions can be reported to the Technical Operations Centre: 0860 103 054. If there is a life or property threatening emergency, call 107 (from a landline) or 021 480 7700.

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