This is what the sea would devour…

18 Aug 2008 Posted by in Environment, News and Events | 1 comment

Published in the Sunday Times – 17th August 2008

DROWNING CITY: The white areas on the right show the parts of Cape Town that would be flooded if 4.5m waves hit. There is a 80% chance of this happening in the next 25 years. There is a 95% chance of 2.5m waves at least once in this period, says a new study.

  • Van Riebeeckstrand, Melkbosstrand, Bloubergstrand, Milnerton, Table View, Woodbridge Island, the Metro industrial township, Paarden Island, Brooklyn, Rugby, Salt River, Maitland, City Docks, Big Bay: services (including electrical cables, power lines and substations, storm water pipes, sewerage pipes, main water pipes), roads and property, which include the Potsdam waste water works and the Caltex oil refinery.
  • Woodstock, Foreshore, Mouille Point/Three Anchor Bay: services, as above.
  • Sea Point: the promenade.
  • Bantry Bay, Camps Bay, Clifton, Bakoven, Llandudno: services, roads and property. T he ocean off the Atlantic seaboard is “capable of big wave action” and there is little that offers protection from the sea.“Sea Point is considered to be particularly vulnerable as it is reclaimed land that has not been stabilised. “New developments and high-raised properties in many of the coastal areas have car parking areas that are below sea level.”
  • Hout Bay, Kommetjie: services, roads and property, including Hout Bay harbour.
  • Soetwater: camp site, road.
  • Sandkop, Witsand: old landfill site, road.
  • Misty Cliffs: property.
  • Scarborough: services, roads and property. Of these areas on the southern Peninsula, Hout Bay and Kommetjie have been identified as “most vulnerable”. Hout Bay, however, offers some protection in that it is fairly shallow and thus incapable of holding a big swell.“There are a number of developments that are currently present which are below the flood line of the Hout Bay River,” the study says.
  • Simon’s Town, Fish Hoek, Clovelly, Kalk Bay, Saint James, Glencairn, Muizenberg, Zeekoevlei, Cape Flats: services, roads and property, including Kalk Bay harbour and the Cape Flats waste water treatment works. The study notes that the railway line on the False Bay coast has in the past “undergone direct wave attack in places”. It says there is little protection in these areas and the coastal main road has been “over-washed during extremely high tides”.
  • Monwabisi: services, resort amenities.
  • Maccassar: waste water treatment works, storm water and sewerage pipes, private property.
  • Strand, Gordon’s Bay: services, roads and property, including harbours and resort amenities.Development here is on particularly low-lying land, the study warns, and is under major threat of inundation.

Article: Andrew Donaldson
Graphic: Matthys Moss

  1. Jan08-29-08

    Yikes! Does anyone know where to find the 100-year flood line (contour)? City planning office?
    Presumably this high wave would then subside leaving us all sitting on the top of Table mountain in our boats?

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