DURBAN - At least 80 oThongathi residents, including several elderly people, were evacuated to safety on Saturday after heavy rains caused flooding in the area.
DA member of the eThekwini Municipality executive committee, councillor Yogis Govender, said two areas were in need of evacuation on Saturday night.
Govender said residents from Waterways and Hillview were evacuated.
She said the suburb of Waterways offers low-income housing and pensioners quarters, while six houses in Hillview which are built on a floodplain, were flooded. She said the same houses were flooded during last month’s floods.
“Community members together with Search and Rescue, Fire Department and the Cert team (Community Emergency Response Team) rallied to extricate entrapped residents, some having to wade in waist high water,” she said.
Govender said 40 residents from the Westbrook Retirement Village, which falls within oThongathi, also needed assistance.
Anne Watson, who is a resident of the retirement village, said six flats were affected.
She said most of the elderly live alone and were moved to the hall inside the village.
“Volunteers have come to help clean the affected flats, which have mud up to the windows," said Watson.
Watson added that some residents have been picked up by their relatives and friends while others found shelter with their neighbours.
Govender said approximately 50 displaced residents have been housed at Vishwaroop Temple Hall since last night.
According to Govender, 30 residents are also being housed at the Belvedere Hall.
With regard to accessibility of the roads to and from oThongathi, Govender said access is currently available via R102 Verulam.
She said the M4 is wrecked, while the N2 into oThongathi is okay.
EThekwini Municipality warned residents earlier today to stay clear of the M4 between Desainagar and Westbrook near the Boys Town Bridge after a section of the roadway collapsed.
“MP Sharon Hoosen and I have contacted the KZN Department of Transport and the MEC respectively who have activated their teams to attend to Genazzano Road and the M4,” said Govender.
Meanwhile, in a statement on Saturday night, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala said 190 people were evacuated from Tehuis Care Centres to SJ Smith Hall.