Monday, April 20, 2009

City takes precautions to prevent mud slides

By Sasha Forbes
20 April 2009

The City of Cape Town has experienced quite a lot of in the last couple of months. As a result Roads and Stormwater will be working closely with SA National Parks to counter and confine mud slides which might occur on Devil’s Peak this winter.

“The vegetation which helped to stabilise the mountain slopes has been substantially reduced by the fire and we are concerned that heavy rain could wash loose soil and debris into streams and stormwater drains and then onto roads and paths,” said the City’s Councillor Elizabeth Thompson

The measures below are those that the city has adopted:

· Cleaning all stormwater drains below the burnt areas to limit the possibility of blockages and flooding.

· Placing gabion weirs where needed in the stream courses to intercept debris and slow the flow of water down the slopes. Gabions are wire mesh baskets, filled with rocks.

“It is imperative that potentially affected property owners take steps to limit their exposure to damage should these measures not prove sufficient,” says Cllr Thompson.

Such measures may include:

· Ensuring that private drainage facilities on your property are checked and maintained in good working order.

· If you live next to a burnt area, encourage plant growth by watering a 10m wide band of land above your boundary.

· Check for burnt and dead trees that could fall onto your property and notify the authorities if there is a danger. For trees within Table Mountain National Park land call 021 689 4441. For trees within the municipal area call 021 689 4184.

· Place sandbags where necessary to protect critical areas in and around your property. If there is a threat of severe flooding or debris flow through your property, select a route through the property that will cause the least damage and use sandbags to try and confine the flow to that route. It could be a pathway or stairs for example. For sandbags and advice on where to place them, contact the City’s Ebenezer Roads and Stormwater Depot on 021 400 3310.

· If your neighbour’s boundary walls are diverting mountain slope and stream runoff onto your property, bring this to their attention as it is illegal to divert such runoff onto another property. You can report any such diversion to the City’s building inspectorate on 021 400 6482.

· Check your insurance policy with respect to coverage for flood damage.

· For flooding emergencies call 107 or 021 480 7700 or 0860 103 054.

“Motorists regularly using De Waal Drive are warned to be particularly careful when using this road during or after a heavy rainstorm, due to the danger of rocks and mud being washed onto the road,” said Thompson


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