For the second year in a row this century, South Africa is experiencing its wettest summer, with farmers in the lower Orange River region on standby as the risk of flooding increases.
So far though the harvesting of grapes is going ahead, Clayton Swart of the SA Table Grape Industry has said.
Yet, in certain southern reaches, roads and vineyards could flood if rain continues at current levels.
The Gariep Dam reached maximum capacity on December 17, overflowing, with the Vanderkloof Dam further north following two days later.
Yesterday, the river’s flow past Prieska in the Northern Cape was measured at 2 490 cumec (cubic metres per second), 300 cumec less than this time last year when the Orange was at its highest level in recent times.
This after the Vaal Dam had to open two sluices, resulting in level rises through the Bloemhof Dam in the Free State where a systematic rise of 400 cumec was measured.
The Vaal River, which runs into the Orange west of Douglas, is expected to cause a much higher level than usual running past Prieska towards the north-west regions of the Northern Cape.
– Source: Landbouweekblad