Misery for thousands in Cape Town

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IOL weather section 8043 CAPE ARGUS Luxolo and Zakumi Smandla make their way down a flooded street in RR Section, Khayelitsha. Photo: Cindy Waxa

Cape Town - Hundreds of shacks were flooded and thousands of people displaced in townships as a storm hit Cape Town on Wednesday night and on Thursday morning.

With three cold fronts sweeping through the province, the city has been at the centre of the storm.

City Safety and Security director Richard Bosman said about 1 500 shacks had been flooded. The worst-hit area was Khayelitsha, where over 2 000 people were affected by the storm.

When a Cape Argus team visited the RR Section of the township’s Site B, it found many of the dirt roads were under water.

In the low-lying areas, the shacks were divided by a maze of mini rivers, which residents sloshed through in rubber boots.

Portia Franscois, 20, said on Thursday morning she was worried the water would not stop rising.

IOL Flood_5546 A car splashes through a large puddle in Main Road, Rondebosch. Photo: Tracey Adams CAPE ARGUS

As rain pelted the township on Wednesday night, water had begun to trickle in through the gap underneath her door. By 6am, there was 10cm of water in the dwelling, turning the bed she shares with her mother and two children into an island.

She said the stormwater had made her 2-year-old child sick.

“He has a rash because the water is very dirty.”

Franscois is planning to stay with friends on the other side of the township until the floods subside.

Her neighbour Nombasa Mthusanto said her furniture had been damaged by the floods.

Relief efforts have started with the city and NGOs handing out baby and flood kits, Bosman said.

With the SA Weather Service warning heavy rainfall was set to persist today, there are fears flooding could, get worse, specially in Khayelitsha which is built on a floodplain.

Lavender Hill and Sir Lowry’s Pass were among the areas flooded today.

Bosman said about 5 000 people had been affected across the city.

However, the city said conditions were not severe enough to evacuate township residents.

This morning, there was minor flooding on roads in the southern suburbs but City Traffic Services spokesman Richard Coleman said there had been no reports of serious crashes.

Waves rose up to 6m on Wednesday and on Thursday morning, wreaking havoc at sea.

A teenage girl was admitted to hospital on Wednesday suffering from hypothermia and another with a leg injury, the National Sea Rescue Institute said.

“A 17-year-old female was transported to hospital suffering a leg injury and a 16-year-old female was transported to hospital suffering hypothermia,” spokesman Craig Lambinon said.

The girls were part of the Knysna sailing team taking part in the 2014 Lipton Cup Challenge in False Bay.

Lambinon said six boys from Bishops Diocesan College taking part in the challenge were rescued after their yacht was blown out to sea.

He said they had reported their mainsail had been damaged and wrapped around the forestay. The yacht had been towed into the harbour.

The storms are set to clear by Friday morning.

Cape Argus



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