The Western Cape Storm

The Western Cape Storm

Today I just want to think about all the people affected by the destructive storm we have experienced in the Western Cape this week. We did receive much needed rainfall, although not nearly enough according to the Farmer’s Weekly. But  more so, our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost everything in the Garden Route fires. We also want to encourage all to extend a helping hand to those in need and donate essentials.

Please read the article of Jeandre du Preez in the Farmer’s Weekly for a brief update on the rainfall in the Western Cape as well as the extent of the Garden Route Fires.

 

Western Cape drought not broken despite massive storm- Jeandre du Preez

The violent storm that hit Cape Town and other parts of the Western Cape, brought some relief to the drought-ravaged province.

Gale-force winds and heavy rain lashed the city in what has been described as the worst storm in decades.

Snow has also been recorded on Western Cape mountains, as well as southern areas of the Northern Cape, including Calvinia and Sutherland, according to the South Africa Weather Services (SAWS).

Good rainfall across the province has provided some relief to farmers who have little or no pasture left.

Many people had reported rainfall in their areas on the Rainfall in SA Facebook page.

Approximately 22mm was recorded in Kamieskroon in the Northern Cape, while Calvinia received 44mm, Worcester 62mm, Bredasdorp 38mm and the Sandveld on the West Coast 24mm.

Agri Western Cape spokesperson, Jeanne Boshoff, said that they were very grateful for the rain and there have been no reports of severe storm-related damage on farms thus far.

“[However,] the much-anticipated cold front which has made landfall is not a quick fix for the drought situation. It will take at least three consecutive winters of above-average rainfall to make a real difference,” said Xanthea Limberg, Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services and Energy.

Meanwhile, up to 10 000 residents had to evacuate their homes in Knysna as fire, fuelled by gale-force winds, ripped through the town.

According to James-Brent Styan, spokesperson for Western Cape Local Government MEC, Anton Bredell, the fire was the largest and most destructive in a built-up area in the Western Cape in recent memory, and came in the wake of the worst storm seen in the Western Cape in at least 30 years.

Boshoff told Farmer’s Weekly that farmers in the Avontuur area suffered major damage due to the fire.

“Currently, the biggest crisis is grazing that has been lost due to the fire. Fences were also destroyed causing major damage, especially since there are game camps [on] the farms.”

She could, however, not confirm whether any buildings on farms had suffered fire damage.