After a devastating period of sustained drought, it was tears of joy for farmers and other users, who experienced the outpouring.
Heavy downpours in the Karoo region of the Western Cape on Saturday caused both inconvenience and delight, as the bone-dry area of land finally received the rainfall it had been praying for – even if that did mean certain parts were flooded and structures were damaged.
Die Grootrivier wat deur #Meiringspoort vloei in vloed na swaar #reën in die Klaarstroom omgewing vanmiddag 📽️ Erasmus DeWet @SAWeatherServic @sawx_sa_weather @venter_annette @debeer_anika @TrafficSA @Netwerk24 @SABCNewsOnline @OudtshoornC @maroelamedia @AfricaWeather_ pic.twitter.com/Ambq5ciWt5
— ReenvalSA (@ReenvalSA) February 2, 2019
— japieg (@GouwsJapie) February 2, 2019
53mm #reën vir die week op ons plaas Uitkyk in die #Aberdeen_distrik. Ons #gronddam kry weer water! 🎥Christelle Nel.@eNCAWeather @SAWeatherServic @Agri_EC @debeer_anika @JoelGuy_ @TeamNews24 @AgriWritersSA pic.twitter.com/JjqnzLk9Ag
— ReenvalSA (@ReenvalSA) February 3, 2019
Around 40 – 50mm was estimated to have fallen in the north-east of the province, prompting rivers to flow for the first time in years. However, these ultimately-welcome developments came at a price as roofs and power lines were blown away by strong winds in Volmoed.
Floods and intense rain hits drought-stricken Cape regions
Elsewhere, six people – including two children – had to be airlifted out of Meiringspoort and road closures caused chaos for travellers and locals alike. Nonetheless, with no deaths or serious injuries reported, the negatives are sure to be outweighed by the positives.
Towns like Beaufort West and the Kannaland Municipality have been relying on external water donations to keep the taps running and the regional dams operational. The Gouritz River Catchment area has just 16% of its water reserves left, and is in a worse state than at was at the height of the day zero concerns in January 2018But the most aesthetically pleasing footage comes from the overflow of the Grootrivier, which passes through the Karoo and services both the Floriskraal and Bellair dams. The gushing torrents of water may have caused havoc for some, but that flow of water is a heavenly sight for those who weren’t sure when they’d see a raindrop again..
So this weekend’s deluge will go a long way towards alleviating some fears over the crisis. The drought has got so bad in Beaufort West, the provincial government have released more emergency funds for local farmers. For the locals to see thunder, hail and rainstorms this weekend was a true novelty