Sea rescuers have already responded to three emergency incidents along the Western Cape coastline as the first of three cold fronts made landfall in the province on Thursday.
With a second cold front expected to arrive on Friday afternoon, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon warned the public that lulls between storms may give the false impression that the coastlines are safe.
Thursday’s front brought heavy rains and Cape Town reported flooding at several informal settlements in Khayelitsha, Philippi, Wallacedene, Mfuleni and Delft.
“The transport department is providing sand and milling and the informal settlement management department will provide flood kits,” said the city’s disaster risk management spokesperson Chantel Alexander.
“Roadways are flooded across the city, notably in Tokai, Ravensmead, Kuils River and Mitchells Plain. Transport (department) is clearing roadways. Trees have been uprooted in Kloof Street in Clifton,” she said.
The storm also caused power outages in Philippi, Browns Farm, Nyanga, Gugulethu, Grassy Park, and Parkwood. Alexander said the city’s electricity department was working on restoring electricity.
After Friday’s cold front, which is expected to bring snow to large parts of the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal, another front is expected to make landfall on Monday.
The SA Weather Service tweeted that municipalities in the Eastern Cape could expect snow of up to 15cm.
“With the first of these three cold fronts that has now moved further along the Western Cape coastline towards the Eastern Cape coastline, the National Sea Rescue Institute is appealing for public caution with high rough seas and gale force winds being experienced along the coastal regions of South Africa lasting into Monday and possibly into Tuesday,” said Lambinon.
“NSRI responded to three incidents related to the severe weather during Thursday, in Knysna, Miller’s Point and Mossel Bay,” he said.
“A third large cold front forecast for Monday is being monitored by the SA Weather Service,” said Lambinon.
Thursday’s cold front brought gale-force winds which overturned at least two trucks on the Western Cape’s roads.
“Localised flooding, storm surges, gale force winds and high seas are some of the winter weather phenomena being experience from these cold fronts,” said Lambinon.
He said the gale force winds and high seas may result in damage to infrastructure and beach erosion and that disruptions could be expected at ports and small harbours.
“ Our concern is for smaller vessels at sea which may have difficulty navigating,” he said.
“The NSRI is appealing to boaters, paddlers, surfers, coastal hikers, anglers and the public to be cautious along the coastline and to follow the SA Weather Service forecast,” he said. “We urge beachgoers and coastal hikers to stay away from the coastline, as dangerous waves or surges may catch them off guard and sweep them off the rocks,” said Lambinon.