The flooded streets of Struisbaai. Picture: Henk Kruger / African News Agency (ANA)
The flooded streets of Struisbaai. Picture: Henk Kruger / African News Agency (ANA)

Father, daughter rescued in Cape storm floods, nature reserves closed

By IOL Reporter Time of article published May 7, 2021

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Cape Town – A father and daughter were rescued this morning as large parts of the Overberg region remain flooded, with rain persisting in the area.

Swellendam, Bredasdorp, Struisbaai, Riversonderend and the surrounding areas continue to be the most affected, Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell said in an update at noon today.

The search is continuing for two missing persons, with rescuers continuing to pull people from the water. No further fatalities have been confirmed beyond the two from Wednesday evening in Bonnievale, after their car overturned.

A total of 45 farmworkers, their family members and a dog were rescued yesterday after being stranded by flood waters in Riviersonderend. In a six-hour operation, rescue workers used boats and jet skis to ferry them to safety, with a pregnant woman and a man the first to be assisted.

“Rescuers continue to pull people from the water – a father and daughter were rescued and taken to safety this morning. The NSRI are playing an invaluable role in rescue efforts and we want to thank all the partners involved once again,” said Bredell.

The severity of the storm is easing up, but the amount of rain and the impact on infrastructure continues to pose problems and the Overberg remains dangerous.

’’Rivers in the region continue to rise, with overflowing riverbanks in some areas, and the water is coming down towards the ocean at speed,’’ Bredell said.

“We urge people in the area to remain indoors where possible, to avoid travelling around in the regions affected as roads are damaged and some bridges in rural areas have been washed away. Please contact the emergency services in the event of any emergency.’’

Further afield in the Garden Route District, the Karoo town of Ladismith and its surrounding areas have seen heavy rain.

“The amount of rain that has fallen in this area over the past two days is more than the area has seen in the past six years. There are no reports of any casualties or missing people and there has been no need for any evacuations in the Garden Route district.”

Gouritz Riviermond, Stilbaai and Bitou saw some flooding as well as parts of Hessequa. The municipalities have managed the situation and it remains under control.

A number of CapeNature reserves have also been hit by the heavy rain and strong winds sweeping across the Western Cape. Please note the following:

  • Marloth Nature Reserve is closed until 9 May.
  • Hottentots Holland Nature reserve is closed until 7 May.
  • Kogelberg Nature Reserve - all hiking trails closed until 10 May.
  • De Hoop Nature Reserve is closed until 10 May.
  • Robberg Nature Reserve - the Fountain Shack overnight accommodation is closed until 7 May.
  • Keurbooms River Nature Reserve - Whiskey Creek Cabin overnight accommodation is closed until 7 May.
  • Swartberg Nature Reserve is closed until 11 May.
  • Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve - all hiking trails are closed until 7 May.

The dates for reopening may be amended depending on weather conditions, CapeNature said.

IOL

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