Severe storm approaching western parts of Gauteng

Severe weather ahead

The South African Weather Service has issued a warning for extreme weather conditions expected for today and Friday. Heavy rain, flooding, severe wind and hail are expected to hit the whole of Gauteng during this period.

“We are expecting heavy rain and severe thunderstorms, with a big chance of hailstorms,” Weather forecaster Wayne Venter said.

Driving before, during and after a storm can be extremely hazardous. Remember – just as you are trying to avoid a storm, so is every other driver. Strong winds can push vehicles off the road and blow debris such as branches, rubbish, trees and even power lines onto the road.

Hail is probably the most dangerous aspect of driving in a storm. People are advised to stay in their car as hail can cause severe injuries. Lie down in your car, if possible, and keep your back to the windows.

 

Localised flooding after a severe storm. Photo: Facebook.

Localised flooding after a severe storm. Photo: Facebook.

Wayne gave some advice for people that find themselves in a weather-related incident:

• Do not panic
• Do not try to drive through big pools of water – when water touches the underside of a vehicle, depending on the strength of the flow, it can lift the vehicle and even carry it away
• Do not make use of low water bridges
• Try to avoid being on the road
• Be on the look out for strong winds and hail
• Don’t park under trees as there is a risk of falling branches and debris
• If you are on the road and get caught in a hail storm, look for cover
• Drivers should increase their following distance by a minimum of three car-lengths, decrease their driving speed and turn on their vehicle’s headlights
• If you cannot avoid the storm, consider stopping
• Be ready for the unexpected

The weather forecast service advises people living close to rivers and dams to also be prepared.

Please be vigilant and protect yourself in case disaster might strike.

To view more photos of yesterday’s destructive storm, click here.

Also Read:

Can the City handle extreme weather conditions?

  AUTHOR
Nadine Myburgh
Journalist

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