The planning for this weekend was to explore some of
Image by Gordon Richardson
As expected the first cold front pushed through last night at around 10pm, bringing with it the relief of rain and some wind too. By early morning, the area of lowest pressure passed by, causing some extremely strong winds, with Cape Point recording a gust of 124km/h and then another 120km/h gust in the late morning. The wind speeds observed were greatly varied between areas with some places receiving much stronger winds than others. There are reports of more than 800 homes being displaced due to flooding, as well as numerous amounts of isolated damage. These damage reports include toppled power lines (and subsequent fires), structural damage and downed trees.According to media reports there have been 5 deaths related to the storm thus far, 4 of these deaths occurred in Kraaifontein during a fire (caused by the storm), while another death was that of a 60 year old man in Lavender Hill after his house collapsed on him.
There were several reports out of Bergvliet of both structural damage and downed power lines, while Cavendish Square, the upmarket mall in Claremont was evacuated after structural damage to the roof. In Somerset West, one of the outside Mr Price stores suffered a collapsed roof. Hundreds of other reports came in over social media on Wednesday morning, some in the forms of photos and videos of the storm:
Photos of the #CapeStorm
Videos of the #CapeStorm
Where To From Here?
It seems like despite early forecasts, the true brunt of the storm was felt in the early hours of the morning between 3 and 6am when winds were seemingly at their strongest and most consistent. Since that time, wind and rain has been intermittent, though gale force winds are still occurring in many places and could continue for a few more hours. High tide is at around 2:00pm+- for beaches around Cape Town, meaning despite what we have already seen on social media of waves breaking over the Sea Point promenade — more reports may be witnessed over the next hours.
Wind speed averages around the Cape should start to wind down as we head into the late afternoon and evening. However, in the wake of the wind we should start seeing more snowfalls on the mountains of the Western Cape. There have already been reports and images shared on social media of the snowfall on the mountains around Worcester. It is expected that the falls shall be heavier later today into the night and morning hours.
The focus will then shift away from the Cape and towards the Eastern Cape instead, where tomorrow the system is likely to bring very strong winds to coastal areas. The heavy falls associated with the storm in the Western Cape should not affect the Eastern Cape province the same way.
Meanwhile, outside of the SW part of the province, along the Garden Route, they are struggling with fires in Wilderness, being fanned by the strong winds associated with the storm.
As with all these severe weather events, there are some clowns on social media sharing completely fake videos or photos in order to gain some social media notoriety. This includes videos of CGI tornadoes plastered over a Cape Town landscape, while others are of a supposed shark at Blouberg on a flooded street. Do not believe any of these stories, and certainly don’t share them. There have been no signs to suggest a tornado was involved in any of the damage.