Several missing after flash flood hits Johannesburg
DURBAN — Several people are still missing following Wednesday’s flash flood, Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department said.
About seven people were unaccounted for after their vehicles were washed away during flooding that brought traffic to a standstill, JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said.
By 22:00 the M1 was still flooded at the Athol Road onand off-ramps in Melrose.
Minnaar said the N3 Buccleuch interchange was flooded in both directions and the N3 was flooded in both directions at Linksfield Road.
“Approximately six vehicles drove over the embankment at around 20:00. Motorists are encouraged not to drive through roads which are flooded,” Minnaar warned.
Lieutenant Kobedi Mokheseng, spokesperson for the Ekurhuleni metro police, told Netwerk24 that the N3, N12 and R21 in and around the city were flooded by about 17:00. “We got Sanral in to come unblock the storm water drains on the national roads, but it was near impossible due to the fast-flowing water and the darkness,” Mokheseng said. “Emergengy services have their hands full.” He warned that the N3 and N12 were crime hotspots and the SAPS were on the scene to protect stranded motorists. He urged stranded motorists to stay calm. “It is going to be long night,” he said.
Private paramedic services EMER-G-MED earlier said that one person had been confirmed dead, the number had risen to two at around 21:08, after another victim who had drowned, had been recovered. Motorists travelling to the OR Tambo International Airport and passengers who were travelling were also affected.
According to Traveller24 Airports Company South Africa confirmed that there were knock-on flight delays due to the storm and that access roads to the airport have been flooded and travellers should avoid the highways.
ACSA’s spokesperson Diedre Davids was not immediately available to comment.
A prominent businessman, who asked not to be named, who was stuck at OR Tambo on Wednesday night told News24 that he had been waiting at the airport since 16:00.
His flight, which was scheduled to depart at around 19:30, departed at around 21:45.
“I am on a flight that was supposed to leave at 19:30. We are inside but we have not taken off. Other flights are moving around the airport. The only affected area was Linksfield on the N3 all the way to the road leading to Eastgate.”
Earlier News24 reported that a boundary wall at the Johannesburg Zoo had collapsed, spokesperson Jenny Moodley has confirmed that no one was hurt, including the animals. — AFP