Do not get swept away by floods

The 'weekend robot' intersection in Lewisham always floods during heavy rainfall. This picture was taken in March 2015. File pic.

We prayed for rain and we got it – masses of it.

With all the rain experienced in our community recently, residents are advised to be prepared for flash floods, which are distinguished from regular floods by a timescale of less than six hours.

Flash floods can occur in several types of conditions, including when it rains hard and heavily on saturated soil or dry soil that has poor absorption ability. The runoff collects in gullies and streams and, as the volume increases, often forms a fast-flowing river of water and debris.

For example, the area including the bridge at the intersection known as the ‘weekend robot’ (the junction of Chamdor, Albertina Sisulu and Barratt Roads) in Lewisham is always flooded and closed when it rains, and members of the community are urged to avoid this intersection.

People are generally not prepared for flash floods, and may not receive a warning that a sudden deadly flood is heading in their direction. However, if you live in an area prone to flash floods, you can make sure you are safe, by following the tips provided below to protect yourself and your family when flooding occurs:

• Memorise an emergency number. Call 911 from any cellphone, or 082 911 or 084 911 from a fixed line

• Avoid low-lying areas, and climb to higher ground if you find yourself in the middle of a flash flood

• Avoid walking or driving through flash floods

• Abandon your vehicle immediately if you find yourself in the middle of a flash flood –

open the window and get out!

Also read

Flash floods – what you need to know

Extreme weather conditions expected

Nadine Maré

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