Floodgates Vaal Dam rain

Twelve floodgates at the Vaal Dam remains open on Sunday 19 February 2023. Image: CrimeAirNetwork / Twitter

Splashdown: Warnings issued, as Vaal Dam releases TORRENTS of water

Water, water everywhere: The government has decided to open the sluice gates at Vaal Dam, and TWO other facilities on Wednesday.

Floodgates Vaal Dam rain

Twelve floodgates at the Vaal Dam remains open on Sunday 19 February 2023. Image: CrimeAirNetwork / Twitter

While KZN battles the devastating impact of burst river banks and rain-driven flooding, officials in Gauteng have had to respond to a situation developing within their own provincial borders. Following a huge rise water flows through the Vaal Dam, a decision has been made to open its sluice gates on Wednesday.

Why has Vaal Dam opened its sluice gates?

The call to release these torrents of water will cause rivers downstream from the dam to swell, and overflows could be experienced by certain communities. Government officials, however, say this is preferable to the alternative, where the Vaal Dam could potentially overflow and destroy nearby settlements if left unattended.

WATCH: Vaal Dam sees water levels swell

One concerned resident took this video on Tuesday, and captured a facility that was ready for bursting. The Vaal Dam is the biggest of its kind in Gauteng, and an imbalance in outgoing flows could have catastrophic consequences.

Communities warned about ‘heavy flows’ from sluice gates

Earlier today, a total of five sluice gates were opened. Facilities at Hazelmere and Bloemhof also followed suit. Hazelmere is to the north of Durban, and Bloemhof is downstream from Vaal Dam itself. All three structures, therefore, were left in dire need of some relief from the relentless rain.

Government officials explained earlier today that they were left with little choice but to open multiple sluice gates, as a result of the ‘huge inflows’ reported over the past 48 hours. Those living downstream from the dams have been urged to act cautiously, and warned off from visiting any of the aforementioned facilities.

“As of today, the Vaal Dam will have five sluice gates open on Wednesday, 13 April 2022. This is due to the huge amount of inflows experienced because of the recent downpours. Following the dire situation in KZN, a decision has also been reached to release water from the Hazelmere Dam – located to the north of Durban.”

“Sluice gates at Bloemhof will also be opened. We caution residents living downstream to remain vigilant, and continue to call upon our communities to steer clear of the various dams, as the outflow continues to surge. We will continue to monitor the situation and update the public as and when the information comes.”

SA Government statement