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As the final cold front exits the country the Western Cape is cleaning up the damage caused from large swells, heavy rains and strong winds. Though the rough seas and the rainfall was the primary focus in the Western Cape, along the Southern Cape Coast the winds were more of a concern with extremely strong wind gusts measured. There were reports of wind gusts in excess of 50 knots in places near Port Elizabeth as the most intense front passed through the area in the middle of the week.
In the Western Cape three various vessels almost ran around amidst the heavy seas and strong winds. While a barge, “MARGARET” ran aground near Jacobsbaai while on route from China to Rotterdam and was plans are said to be underway to salvage the barge. There were also apparently two potentially extremely dangerous, toxic chemical containers which washed up at Sea Point and Hout Bay. There were appeals for the public to stay clear of these containers for health reasons.
At least 5 mountain path closures were in place throughout the country on Thursday the 25 June as heavy snowfalls had fallen throughout Wednesday and Thursday in many of the high lying regions. Tragedy struck when a bus accident took place and left 7 people dead and over 30 injured, the accident was apparently caused by snow and ice and took place at Penhoek Pass between Jamestown and Queenstown.
The Garden Route Mall in George was also subject to tragedy but more of the financial kind as extremely strong winds ripped through the area leaving plenty of damage behind. Storm surge was also an issue as numerous coastal houses were left with minor flooding.
Currently the main system has passed and a clearance of weather can be expected in the Western Cape with temperatures into the 20s next week. But the mornings will remain cold throughout the country over the coming days and frost will almost certainly make its presence felt. Temperatures of 0`C were reported today the 26 June 2009 in Johannesburg with winds increasing the chill factor.
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