Storm wreaks havoc in the ‘Plain

Aashiqah Fortune shows where the water came gushing out during last week's storm.

The storm that hit the city last week caused damage to houses and informal structures in Mitchell’s Plain.

Charlotte Powell, spokeswoman for the City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre, said they attended to flooding at the Kapteinsklip informal settlement, where 29 structures and 67 people were affected by the storm.

“The South African Red Cross Society provided humanitarian relief in the form of hot meals and blankets,” she said.

Ms Powell said roofs were blown off in Tafelsig, Eastridge and Lost City.

Tafelsig resident Aashiqah Fortune, 33, who has three children aged 13, 8 and 3, lives in an informal structure at the back of 52 Keeromsberg but was forced to move to her mother’s home nearby after water started gushing into her dwelling at 8pm on Wednesday June 7.

When the Plainsman visited her home on Friday June 9, a mouldy smell emanated from the structure due to the damp items. “All my books, clothing and blankets were left soaked after the disaster.”

Ms Fortune said she did not have a dry towel left to use. “My three children have not been able to go to school as their uniform and school shoes are drenched.”

Three days after the storm hit she was still unable to move back into her home. “The rain affected my electrical wiring and left me without any electricity. We did call the City’s disaster management centre and other organisations and they promised to come out and help us, however, nobody has come yet.”

Ms Fortune is anticipating the costs of fixing the electrical problem.

“It is my main priority at the moment. If I can put on a heater it can help to dry the clothes. I had to place a bucket in the bathroom to prevent further flooding.”

Her husband is currently working out of town and will only be back at the end of the month to help her. “I want to plead with the community to help me put my electricity back on. I have put all my electrical breakers off because I am scared of what will happen if I tamper with it,” she said.

Councillor for Ward 79, Beacon Valley (west of Oval East Street * * to Epsom Crescent and Lords Street, south of Oval North Street and Trampoline Street, east of Az Berman Drive and * orth of Imperial Street), Portland (southoOf Wespoort Drive, east of Merrydale Street and * orth of Oxford Street, Trafalgar Way, Cambridge Street and the railway * ine), – Mitchell‘s Plain CBD (Town Centre) and Eastridge, Solomon Philander, said he received one complaint from a resident where a tree fell on the property resulting in damage to the boundary wall and roof.

“The second incident reported was one of a business property in Mitchell’s Plain Town Centre. Businesses did roof work before the storm hence they were affected by the storm.”

Mr Philander said nobody needed refuge in Ward 79 and that he attended to complaints speedily.

According to the Western Cape Education Department, 135 schools across the Western Cape were damaged due to the storm.

Jessica Shelver, spokeswoman for the WCED, said of the 135 schools, 41 reported damage to roofs.

“Seven reports of hostel damage and damage to two district offices were also reported. The head of the provincial department of transport and public works has activated emergency procurement measures which will make provision for schools to ensure, as quickly as possible, that facilities are made safe where damage has occurred and allow for minor repairs to prevent further damage to buildings,” she said.

Ms Shelver said the WCED’s inspectors have already visited the worst hit schools. “Once we have received the reports on all schools, the total cost of damages and the extent of damages, we will determine the strategy going forward and the prioritisation of reparations works,” she said.

When asked to list the worst affected schools in Mitchell’s Plain she said: “We won’t be naming schools or areas as the damage has left some schools vulnerable to burglars and vandals.”

She said 33 schools were damaged by the storm in Metro South Education District. “

(blob) Principals can report storm damage to schools to the Safe Schools Call Centre on 0800 45 46 47.

(blob) In an emergency, residents can contact the City’s public emergency communication centre on 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.