VIDEOS: Drought-hit Upington nearly washed away in sudden flooding

A man attempting to cross a flooded street near a Pick n Pay in Upington on Thursday. Image: Twitter video screenshot/@Beagle14091389

The drought-stricken region’s weather forecast, however, indicates the rains were, unfortunately, a fleeting event, with a 0% chance of rain forecast for Friday.

Just when the drought-stricken Northern Cape city of Upington thought it was finally experiencing the welcome relief of heavy rains, it turned out the clouds were also bringing flooding to the desert town, illustrating the old adage of “it never rains but pours”.

Elated residents took to social media on Thursday to express their initial joy at the sight of rain, though it may have been a bit much too fast.

Nevertheless, most of them were so desperate for the water that they didn’t mind just about drowning.

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) told News24 that there was a possibility of flash flooding yesterday, due to the intensity of the thunderstorms, but that the rain should subside by the weekend.

The region’s weather forecast, according to SAWS, indicates the rains were, unfortunately, a fleeting occurrence, with a 0% chance of rain forecast for Friday, and a warm 32°C predicted as the maximum temperature.

On October 4, Deputy President David Mabuza visited Northern Cape with urgent interventions to deal with drought and committed that government would provide urgent relief to the farming community, whose livestock is affected by the drought.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) Northern Cape provincial leader Andrew Louw said earlier this year that the Northern Cape was experiencing drought more severe than in any other part of the country.

“…Even if the Northern Cape has three years of good rain, it will take another seven years to recover from this crippling drought,” said Louw.

It is estimated that the drought has led to more than 62,000 job losses in various parts of the agricultural production chain.

Residents across the country are urged to save water where they can, even if they are lucky enough to be experiencing the current cool, wet weather.

(Compiled by Nica Schreuder. Additional reporting by Anastasi Mokgobu)

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