The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and its social partners evacuated 359 people whose homes were flooded during the rains that have been falling in the city since Sunday, 24 July 2011.
The municipality was informed by the South African Weather Services last Friday that heavy rains were expected from Sunday, 24 July 2011 over the municipal area. In a pre-emptive move, the Disaster Management Officers were placed on standby, relief materials were collected and community structures in high risk areas were alerted of the possibility of flooding.
The municipality also received alerts from the SA Weather Services including warning messages on 23 and 24 July 2011 of flash flooding and heavy showers which were expected between Plettenberg Bay and East London.
A total rainfall of 57.6mm was measured in Uitenhage with up to 36.5 mm in Steytlerville Overnight on Sunday until 08:00 on Monday, suggesting the inflow into the Swartkops River catchment was also high, posing a considerable flooding risk.
Reports of isolated cases of flooding were received throughout Sunday and disaster Management officials responded to these and provided relief where required.
Most of the calls for assistance that were received at the Joint Operation Centre were about water in yards of private properties due to rising water levels with no life-threatening situations reported.
Reaction to incidents included evacuations, provision of shelter and relief to evacuees.
The following areas were flooded and as such evacuation became necessary and was done accordingly:
Area/Ward – Incident – No. of people – Relief center:
- Motherwell, ward 23 – Flooding – 2 – NU 30 Comm. Hall
- Walmer Gqebera, ward 4 – Flooding – 29 – Walmer Comm. Hall
- Witteklip, Greenbushes, ward 40 – Flooding – 26 – Nomzamo Comm. Hall
- Motherwell, Kamvelihle, ward 56 – Flooding – 3 – Private Property
- Motherwell, NU 29 – Flooding – 109 – NU 30 Comm. Hall
- Kuyga, Ward 40 – Flooding – 120 – Kuyga Comm. Hall
- Allenridge – Flooding – 70 – Allenridge Comm. Hall
Soup, mattresses and blankets were provided in all the areas.
The Roads closed included: Third Avenue Dip, Newton Park Area Kudus Kloof in Dispatch, Blackthorne Avenue, Forest Hill, and Geduld Road, Greenbushes was partly closed
Portfolio Chairperson for Safety and Security, Cllr. Wandisile Jikeka said the political leadership commends the proactive work of municipal officials in ensuring that vulnerable communities were assisted during the recent floods.
He said “moving towards an integrated approach to disaster prevention and relief efforts remains one of the key challenges the municipality needs to overcome in order to render a superior service to residents.”
“We must continue to improve the services we render to vulnerable communities each time based on the valuable insights we have gained in handling recent disasters.”