Rainfall boosts dam levels; Another flood warning

Close to the Blyderivierpoortdam. Photograph Tom van der Meulen

MBOMBELA – The South African Weather Services (SAWS) has issued a flood and heavy weather alert for parts of Mpumalanga  for Sunday 8 January.

Ms. Kgolofelo Mhlango, weather forecaster with the SAWS, said to Lowvelder that in the past 24 hours Skukuza has received 81,2 mm of rain and Graskop 62,8 mm.

Forest Falls Photograph Nicolene Botha

Forest Falls Photograph Nicolene Botha

 

“We expect more rain to come through. There is a 80% chance for the northern escarpment, southern part of the Kruger National Park and Mbombela as well as Belfast and Emahleni to have rain tomorrow. We also expect the rain to persist through to next week. It is torrential rains which is caused by moisture coming through from the tropics,” she explained.

Weather System for Saturday and Sunday

Weather System for Saturday and Sunday

Mr Tom van der Meulen of Hoedspruit said today that the Blyderivierpoortdam was at 77% at 12h00 with an inflow of 80 cumec at Bourkes Luck. A little bit later this afternoon he reported on Facebook that “Our dam is currently at 95%. I predicted that it will overflow before tomorrow evening without any more rain. This has changed! At 12h00 the flow below the potholes increased to 176 cumec. Highest was two days ago at 80 cumec. The flood wave was still upstream of the picnic spot. I guess the flood water is going to reach the dam within one hour and that the wall will overflow before tomorrow morning.”

Mr. Sipho Magaghula, hydrologist of the IUCMA, said that the Kwena Dam is at present standing at 33 per cent but will soon be showing increased levels because of the water flowing into the Crocodile River upstream. The Witklip Dam is at 28 per cent, Klipkopjes Dam at 21 per cent and Longmere Dam at 64 per cent.”We expect that inflow will increase in the next 24 hours.”

The level of dams in the Sabie Sand Catchment Area like the Injaka Dam, stand at 58 per cent and the Da Gama Dam on 44 per cent. The volume of the Injaka Dam increased three per cent in the last 24 hours.

* The bodies of a firefighter and passenger of a taxi were recovered earlier today after a raging river toppled a taxi from a bridge.

IMG-20170107-WA0031

Sabie River flowing strongly in the Kruger National Park. Photograph: Roger Keeton.

  AUTHOR
Elize Parker
Environmental Journalist Lowvelder

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