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Friday, June 14, 2024

Garden Route Floods: Critical Road Closures and Safety Updates for Truckers

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Issued by the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Joint Operations Centre (JOC) at 12h00, 5 June 2024

The Garden Route District Municipality has activated its Joint Operations Centre (JOC) at its Head Office in George due to the ongoing heavy rainfall affecting parts of the Western, North, and Eastern Cape since 1 June 2024. While the rainfall in the Garden Route hasn’t been exceptionally high in recent days, several dams are overflowing, causing significant water flow issues.

The Stompdrift, Kammanassie, Koos Raubenheimer, and Gamkapoort Dams are currently overflowing, which is contributing to the rising levels of the Olifants River. This situation poses severe risks to road users, especially truckers who are navigating these regions.

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Safety First: Important Precautions

Truckers must exercise extreme caution. If you are operating near rivers or low-water bridges, avoid crossing them. Ensure your safety and the safety of others by taking these steps:

  • Avoid driving through floodwaters, as their depth and speed can be misleading.
  • Seek higher ground if you are in a flood-prone area.
  • Stay informed and follow updates from local authorities.

Current Road Closures: Vital for Truckers to Know

Oudtshoorn Area

  1. Meiringspoort: Closed since 04/06/2024.
  2. Swartberg Pass: Closed since 04/06/2024.
  3. N12 between Oudtshoorn and De Rust (Nel’s River crossing): Closed since 04/06/2024. Use the Langkloof route as an alternative.
  4. DR1713/R328 (Raubenheimers Dam to Bergoord): Closed since 04/06/2024.
  5. Volmoed Road: Closed due to rockfalls since 05/06/2024.
  6. Cango Caves: Closed since 05/06/2024.

Mossel Bay Area

  1. Geelbeksvlei Road: Closed since 04/06/2024.
  2. DR1532 Vleesbay Road: Closed since 05/06/2024.

Knysna Area

  1. Rheenendal Road off the N2: Closed since 04/06/2024.

George/Wilderness/Uniondale Area

  1. DR1660 Joncksrust Road (Kliprivier Road, 30km from Uniondale): Closed due to rockfalls since 04/06/2024.
  2. Prince Alfred Pass (between Uniondale and Knysna): Closed due to rockfalls and flooding since 05/06/2024.
  3. Haarlem access (west side restricted, east turn-off accessible): Closed since 05/06/2024.

Ongoing Rescues and Evacuations

The South African Police Services (SAPS) Diving Unit and the Red Cross Air Mercy Service are actively involved in rescue operations across the region. So far, 17 people have been rescued:

  • Welgeluk, Oudtshoorn: 11 people (3 women, 4 men, and 4 children) rescued using Pencil Duck.
  • Meiringspoort Pass: 6 people (1 woman, and 5 men) were rescued by helicopter.

Additionally, Calitzdorp Hot Springs has been evacuated due to the flooding from the Olifants River.

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Reporting Incidents

Truckers encountering weather-related issues are urged to report them to the Garden Route Emergency Call Centre at 044 805 5071 or on SA Trucker Hotline 0847178431. Staying connected and informed is crucial during these challenging times.

Truckers are urged to adhere to the road closure notices and safety recommendations issued by the GRDM JOC. Keeping abreast of the latest updates will help you navigate the region safely and efficiently during these adverse weather conditions.

Stay safe out there and remember, no load is worth risking your life!

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