Pictured is Merriman Street where several houses were damaged due to flooding. Emergency services had their hands full rescuing a number of residents and vehicles following heavy rains that flooded large parts of the Garden Route District Municipal Area on Monday morning. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
Pictured is Merriman Street where several houses were damaged due to flooding. Emergency services had their hands full rescuing a number of residents and vehicles following heavy rains that flooded large parts of the Garden Route District Municipal Area on Monday morning. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

Restoration starts after severe flooding leaves homes damaged and roads blocked in Garden Route

By Kristin Engel Time of article published Nov 23, 2021

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Cape Town - After the heavy showers across the Southern Cape on Monday, that caused severe flooding, damaged property and turned streets into rivers - today is set to be a sunny day managing the effects of the floods in areas along the Garden Route.

George Municipality said they had their hands full with service-related issues associated with heavy rains and flash floods across the city yesterday, residents were still reeling from the devastation of the floods.

Garden Route District EMS rescue manager Richard Botha said: “There was one rescue this morning [Monday] of a family that was stuck on the first floor of their house and we have taken them out by boat. The services involved in the rescue were Metro Rescue and the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).”

Today, Botha said there were no further rescue operations from their side after the call out yesterday.

George Fire and Disaster Management chief Neels Barnard said the municipality had been dealing with flood-related incidents since early yesterday morning, including road closures and related peak traffic, damage to infrastructure, and matters of safety.

“The municipality worked closely with other emergency services and social agencies to address impacts of flooding holistically,” said Barnard.

George Municipality said they were aware of a large portion of George that was affected by a water outage.

“The flooding of on Monday severely damaged our infrastructure and our engineers and teams are working on a number of repairs. Water trucks will be circulating shortly,” said George Municipality spokesperson Chantèl Edwards-Klose.

A section of road that has been washed away at the start of the Seven Passes Road. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
A section of road that has been washed away at the start of the Seven Passes Road. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
Pictured is Merriman Street where several houses were damaged due to flooding. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
Emergency services had their hands full rescuing a number of residents and vehicles following heavy rains that flooded large parts of the Garden Route District Municipal Area on Monday morning. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

Continuing to manage the effects of the floods, George Municipality spokesperson Debra Sauer said the Electrotechnical Services Directorate was aware of a number of areas that remained without power, and teams would continue repair work today.

“Currently, we cannot give an estimated time of repairs and will update as we receive information. We apologise for the inconvenience. Extreme rain and flooding have caused extensive damage to the power network” said Sauer.

After schools, clinics and other buildings were closed yesterday, George Municipality announced that all clinics in the area were open today and would resume normal service delivery.

The municipality said all calls were coming in through the emergency number on 044 801 6300 after the Telkom line to the George Municipal main building was damaged by the flooding yesterday and asked the public to please be patient as the emergency line was overloaded.

While the flooding had undesirable effects, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said the DWS was pleased with the heavy rainfalls as it brought relief to the drought stricken Little Karoo, which was in dire need of rain after receiving inadequate rainfall for the past few years

The DWS was working closely with the affected local municipalities and disaster management structures to prevent further damage to properties and minimise loss of life.

Assisting with relief efforts, Gift of the Givers said they would be helping those affected by the heavy rains and flooding in George, Oudtshoorn, Mossel Bay, Bitou, Kannaland, Hessequa and Knysna.

Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman said trucks carrying maize, food parcels, mattresses, hygiene packs, new clothing, blankets, sanitary pads, diapers, bottled water, plastic sheeting and pet food would be arriving from Kimberley, Gqeberhe, Graaff-Reinet and Cape Town.

In George, Sauer said the public could drop all donations for the flood relief at the Community Development Service office on the corner of Varing and St. John's Streets at the back of the George Post Office.

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