Several houses close to the Rietrivier were flooded on Wednesday due to increased water levels caused by the opening of the Bloemhof Dam flood gates.
SEVERAL houses close to the Rietrivier were flooded yesterday due to increased water levels caused by the opening of the Bloemhof Dam flood gates.
Many more households are now gripped by fear that the rising water will wreak more destruction … and they can’t do anything about it.
Sol Plaatje Municipality said the flood gates were opened due to the overflow at Bloemhof Dam following the heavy rains over the past few weeks.
Municipal spokesperson Thoko Riet said the flood gates had to be opened in order to release the overflow of water to various rivers, including the Rietrivier
“The municipality assisted five families with transport to move their belongings to nearby storage in Ritchie. The houses affected are closer to the river. The Sol Plaatje Municipality has also offered alternative accommodation but the families have opted to stay with their relatives and friends close by,” added Riet
She also assured Ritchie residents that the drinking water will not be affected by the flooding.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and assist those affected where we can.”
Farmers in Modderrivier have reportedly also started evacuating their homes out of concern that the water level might rise even more.
The Ritchie PR councillor Elize Nieman said the water level had definitely continued to rise since the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The local ward councillor was attending the Salga induction training in Upington.
Nieman said this is the first flooding that she has experienced since she moved to Ritchie four years ago.
She said that they had started moving furniture from the houses that were under threat to higher areas at around 1am and relocated the families later in the morning with the help of the municipality.
“We expect more cases. The water is already surrounding the houses. We expect the water to enter the houses by tonight. That is how the water flow is.
“One of the farmers lost seven pigs while the other one lost two pigs.
“We are trying to move everything as fast as we can but the water continues to rise by the hour,” said Nieman.
The owner of Riverside Caravan Park said the flooding will affect his business because they had already lost some bookings because of it.
He said the water level started rising on Tuesday night and has continued to push up.
“We still have bookings left but now I have to move them to higher areas, far from the river.
“This is the second time we have experienced flooding since we took over the place 23 years ago,” said the owner.