PICS: Panic as downpour floods homes

By Ilanit Chernick Time of article published Feb 18, 2017

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Johannesburg - At 1am on Friday, Amanda Ndlovu’s father, Andrew, woke his family in a panic.

There was a torrent of water pouring into their home.

“He kept saying: ‘We’ve been flooded, it’s flooding’. He was very worried when he saw the water was coming in,” said Ndlovu.

The family-of-five all ran outside their newly-built home in the Tshabalala informal settlement, outside Hazyview in Mpumalanga, trying to use tyres to stop the heavy rainfall brought by a tropical depression from flooding their property.

“The water in the living area was already up to this ledge by the door. You can see that it got to the bottom of the curtains,” said Ndlovu, pointing downwards.

Standing in her soaking wet pyjamas, shivering with cold, she explained how the family of five had tried to clear the water out. “It was up to my ankles.”

The family placed tin and sandbags and were digging trenches around their property.

“I’m scared it will carry on,” said Ndlovu. “I don’t know what we’ll do if it gets worse. This Dineo must just go already.”

Digging a trench, Andrew said their night had been chaotic - his family hadn’t slept at all.

“We had to move things and get the fridge and TV away from the water. It went through the whole house. I was very shocked.”

They had called friends and neighbours to help stop the flow of water. “I just hope it works,” he said.

Another local resident, Elphus Mnisi, told how he had also dug trenches outside his gate to stop the water. “I have two children and we didn’t sleep last night because we were so afraid the house would blow away. We kept checking it wasn’t flooding.

“My children were scared but we’re okay now. Hopefully it won’t get any worse.”

The SA Weather Service said it expected between 100mm and 200mm to have fallen over certain parts of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern KwaZulu-Natal.

In Graskop, a small town near Hazyview, about 166mm fell between Thursday and 8am yesterday, while Tzaneen had so far received 56mm and Hoedspruit 61mm of rain.

It warned heavy rains that could lead to flooding were expected to persist in both Limpopo and Mpumalanga throughout the weekend.

Constable Duduzile Malibe, spokesperson for the Hazyview police, advised residents to

be vigilant and rather remain indoors during the heavy

rains.

In the Kruger National Park, several dirt roads remained closed as a precautionary measure with park officials advising tourists to stay in their respective camps until the wet weather subsided.

A decision would be taken today on when to reopen them, said Derrick Visagie, a disaster management co-ordinator.

WEEKEND ARGUS

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