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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Watch: Kruger National Park roads flooded as continous rain hits Mpumalanga

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The Crocodile bridge in the Kruger National Park is flooded and several other roads in the eastern parts of Mpumalanga following persistent heavy rain from yesterday morning.

On Tuesday, SAWS issued a level 5 warning of the high possibility of localised flooding due to the heavy rains.

“It has been raining non-stop since the early hours of yesterday morning, February 8, and the current scenes in and around the Kruger National Park echoes the flood warnings that the South African Weather Service (SAWS) has been issuing throughout the week,” the Lowvelder reported.

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SAWS published a media statement on Monday February 6, indicating that the Lowveld can expect persistent rainfall. The service issued a level 5 warning for disruptive rain on Wednesday February 8.

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Following the continuous rainfall the Lowveld has experienced throughout the past week, the ground is already saturated with water which has led to flooding.

Most dams and rivers in Mpumalanga and rivers are either over-flowing or about to overflood their banks.

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The Kruger National Park announced the closure of some bridges in the reserve due to heavy rains and flooding.

Sanparks spokesperson Isaac Phaahla said they have been closely monitoring the situation and that the Sabie, Masechaka, and Crocodile rivers are flowing strongly.

As a precautionary measure, the bridges that are flooded by these rivers have been closed.

Phaahla urges visitors to take extra precautions and avoid using the Crocodile Bridge entrance, to be extra careful when crossing low-lying bridges, and to avoid using gravel roads as they may be dangerous.

He added that while animals have moved to higher ground to avoid the heavy rain, visitors, tourists, and contractors are the main concern.

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“The park remains open to visitors, but tourists should be patient as some staff who live outside the park may be affected by the closure of bridges,” Phaahla added.

Updates on flights to and from Skukuza will also be available as the bridge linking the Skukuza rest camp to the airport is currently flooded.

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