Home News Heavy rain, winds wreak havoc

Heavy rain, winds wreak havoc

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Many city residents who live in shanties complained that flooding was a recurring problem that is never addressed by the Sol Plaatje Municipality

RESIDENTS in Kimberley and De Aar were yesterday busy with mop-up work following heavy rain showers and strong winds that damaged their homes on the weekend.

A number of shanties and several roads were flooded in Jacksonville in Kimberley during the heavy rain on Saturday.

Residents in Malibu Street in Jacksonville said that they had to “sit in flooded houses” until the rain subsided.

“We welcome and love the rain, however, it is not a pleasurable occasion when one has to sit in a flooded house. We tried to dig trenches to stop the water from running into our homes as there are no drainage systems in this area. The roads are also very muddy and one cannot go out as it is difficult to walk in the deep mud,” a resident said.

Many city residents who live in shanties complained that flooding was a recurring problem that is never addressed by the Sol Plaatje Municipality.

“We have been crying to the municipality to put gravel on the roads to stop the water from flooding our homes. Our cries keep falling on deaf ears. Whenever we see the clouds pack together, we already know that we will not sleep as we will spend the night wet. The municipality just does not care about us.”

Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Sello Matsie said that they had not received any reports of extensive damage caused by the rain.

Matsie said that the strong rain had led to power failures in some areas.

Residents in De Aar suffered major damage after several trees were uprooted during strong winds and rain on the weekend.

The acting-director of infrastructure services at Emthanjeni Local Municipality, Willie Lubbe, said that residents suffered damages to their homes and cars.

“There were several pine trees that fell on top of houses and cars that were parked in the street or in front of houses. We experienced extremely strong winds of 100km/* . Luckily we did not suffer any loss of human life or serious injuries during the storm,” said Lubbe.

He added that emergency teams were out to assist residents during the storm.

“Due to the strong winds and rain the electricity went out. There were trees that were lying in the streets and blocking access to some roads. Traffic officials were assisting with the traffic flow and clearing the roads that were blocked. We were also informed that the electricity at the hospital shut down, but luckily the facility is equipped with a generator.”

Lubbe added that municipal workers and community members have been working in partnership to assist people who had been heavily affected by the storm.

“There are some houses whose roofs were blown off. Community members are assisting their neighbours to fix them. Municipal workers are busy restoring the power lines which were damaged. We have several power points so when a line is damaged not everyone is affected. It is only a minority of people who were affected by the power lines that were blown over.”

Lubbe said that assessors will evaluate the damage this week.