LOOK: Cape Town's townships battling amid torrential downpours

By Chevon Booysen Time of article published Jun 11, 2020

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Cape Town – Residents in Overcome Heights near Muizenberg awoke to pools of water in their structures yesterday following torrential overnight downpours.

Theirs was one of several informal settlements to suffer from an intense cold front which made landfall across the metropole on Tuesday.

Community worker Karen Mentoor said she heard a knock at her door at 3am from a resident whose home was flooded.

“When I got to the house it was flooded almost to our knees. This is a problem that persists year on year, and we never get the assistance we ask for,” Mentoor said.

“We have reported the issues of flooding to authorities, but every year they respond by scraping the streets.

Torrential rain flooded several roads across the metro yesterday, such as along Jakkalsvlei Avenue in Bonteheuwel, some of which had to be closed to traffic. Picture: Courtney Africa / African News Agency (ANA)

“Scraping the streets does not help. They need to create V-shaped channels that will run to the main road where there is drainage.

“We have also requested sandbags to help curb flooding, but this has also not happened yet.”

More needed to be done to ensure residents were protected from inclement weather while also trying to stay safe from Covid-19, she added.

Picture: Courtney Africa / African News Agency (ANA)

“So far we have been doing everything to reduce our risk of infection by the virus. But now being out we could get sick and could expose community workers, as well as residents, to Covid-19.

“We really need more assistance from the authorities in this regard,” Mentoor said.

“Currently we have the elderly and children who are soaked in their homes. This situation will only get worse as more rain and wet weather is expected.”

Picture: Courtney Africa / African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town Disaster Risk Management spokesperson Charlotte Powell said it has received reports of flooding in informal settlements such as Makhaza, Masiphumelele, Macassar and Khayelitsha.

“We have received reports of roofs blown off in Hangberg and roads that are flooded across the metropole, most notably Fish Hoek Main Road,” Powell said.

“We have also received reports of power outages in Langa, Gugulethu, Muizenberg, Observatory, Masiphumulele and Brown’s Farm.”

Picture: Courtney Africa / African News Agency (ANA)

Disaster risk management teams were also assessing roadways for stormwater drainage, she added.

Adverse weather has also resulted in several accidents, according to provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa.

Two trucks overturned, one at the Theewaterskloof Dam and another along the N2 near Grabouw.

City traffic spokesperson Richard Coleman said a minibus taxi had overturned along Nelson Mandela Boulevard. No injuries reported.

Picture: Courtney Africa / African News Agency (ANA)

Earlier this week, the SA Weather Service warned the City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre of likely strong-to-gale-force coastal and interior winds, heavy rainfall, extremely cold conditions and rough seas.

Capetonians have been reminded to ensure that they remove any

potential blockages around their properties to limit the risk of localised flooding.

Any weather-related emergencies should be reported to the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre by dialling 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.

Cape Times

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