South Africa has been pounded by heavy rains for the last several weeks. Several people have been killed and settlements and farms across the country have flooded.

The Vaal River is the main source of water for Joburg and the surrounding Gauteng Province, and the floodgates have literally been opened at the Vaal Dam. (Interesting fact: Johannesburg is the only major city in the world that is not located on a major body of water.)

Joe went to take photos at the dam, which is about an hour south of Joburg. I went along to check it out.

According to the South African Press Association, the Vaal Dam is “110% full and still rising.” I’m not sure what this means  — the dam still appears to be functioning so I don’t know how it can be more than 100% full — but I can tell you that there is a hell of a lot of water there.

Visiting the dam was interesting not only for the water, but for the people-watching. There were hundreds of people ogling the river from the bridge, as well as an entire community of vendors selling ice cream, boerewors rolls (kind of like hot dogs), biltong, mielies (corn), and soft drinks. A friend of mine described it as a “flood fair.”

People marvel at the floodwaters. There were also quite a few crazy people fishing dangerously close to the banks of the raging river. Apparently the fish get stunned in waters like this and are very easy to catch.

Interesting way to spend a Friday afternoon.

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