JRA assessing damage after heavy rains

 

Johannesburg Roads Agency is conducting a detailed inspection of all bridges that were flooded by the recent heavy rains to establish any structural damage.

Motorists had to use alternative roads after two bridges in Witkoppen were closed after they were completely flooded. The Jukskei bridge in Midrand and the Msawawa bridge were also flooded on 22 March.

“Heavy rain has flooded bridges across the city,” said the spokesperson for the agency Bertha Peters-Scheepers.

“[Agency] officials are monitoring low-level bridges prone to overtopping during a heavy downpour. Low-lying bridges at risk have been earmarked for upgrades and will be cordoned off if they pose a risk during heavy flooding.”

Peters-Scheepers called on all road users to practise caution and patience when travelling across bridges during heavy downpours. She urged motorists to obey road signs, traffic signals and especially road closures due to flooded bridges.

“In the event of a flash flood, or where residents are at risk, it is advisable to immediately evacuate the area and seek a place of safety.”

Tips for motorists and residents on how to survive the heavy rains:

Flash floods

Flash floods occur within few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall. This may be caused by a blocked stormwater drain or a dam failure or a severe and heavy rainstorm. Nearly half of all flash flood deaths are automobile-related, so never drive or let anyone drive through flood waters. If your car stalls in just two feet of moving water, the water will have enough force to lift up your car and carry it away.

If a flash flood warning has been issued for your area, act immediately. You may only have seconds before flood waters appear.

Pedestrian safety

  • If you are outdoors and a flash flood is likely, get to higher ground immediately. You cannot outrun a flash flood
  • Keep out of places that are likely to flood such as ditches or dry stream beds
  • Avoid already flooded areas and high-velocity flow areas
  • Never attempt to run across flooding water when the water is above your ankles
  • Do not walk into or near high water
  • Keep children from drainage ditches and open storm water drains.

Motorist safety

  • Never drive into water covering the road. You do not know how deep it is or if the road is washed away. Turn around and go the other way
  • Look out for flooding at highway dips, bridges and low areas
  • If the vehicle stalls in high water, leave it immediately and seek higher ground
  • Be cautious, especially at night when visibility is impaired
  • Do not park your vehicle along streams, particularly during threatening conditions.

 

How did the rain affect your area?

  AUTHOR
Lungile Dube

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