Weather damage

Tunnel Street, in Tafelsig, is flooded because of a blocked stormwater system.

Widespread reports of flooding across Mitchell’s Plain and the rest of the city have kept municipal maintenance crews and disaster-relief workers busy.

Stormy weather uprooted a tree in Woodlands on Monday, and there was flooding in Tafelsig, Beacon Valley and Rocklands, aggravated in some cases by blocked stormwater drains and gullies.

Ward 75 councillor Joan Woodman said in Woodlands the wild weather damaged Woodville Primary School’s fence and one of its gates.

In recent weeks, Tafelsig ward councillor Washiela Harris (Ward 82) has reported several instances of flooding.

“The rainy season is upon us and we need to be better prepared to deal with all the flooding in the area,” she said.

Municipal work crews were short-staffed because of Covid-19, she noted.

Ms Harris said she had reported flooding in Tunnel and Buttress streets, Tafelsig, on Thursday July 9.

“Flooding is mostly caused by dumping as previously they found a bicycle in the sewer system on the Dolomite Street side,” she said. “I have requested a thorough cleaning of the Tafelsig sewer.”

“The City is continuously working on cleaning and maintaining stormwater systems in the Mitchell’s Plain and Phillipi areas,” she said.

Teams had been sent out several times to clear stormwater inlets of silt and debris, she said.

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, said the first cold front last week dumped up to 100mm of rain on some parts of the city.

Last week’s cold front, followed by another that hit on Sunday, has kept the City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre (DRMC) busy dispatching help to storm-battered areas.

BLOB The City’s disaster risk management team dropped 100 sandbags at a house in Muurbal Street, Beacon Valley, last week to keep floodwaters from the door of a property where some 47 people live (“Four dozen people share one home,” Plainsman June 24).

Pastor Dean Ramjoomia, founder of the Nehemiah Call Initiative (NCI), posted videos on Facebook of water around the house. He said its foundation was at the level of the yard and that had added to the flooding. The family who now live in the house after buying the property from the City had flagged the problem before taking occupation, but it had not been attended to, he said.

“Met al die mense en kinders in daar huis en property – a greater injustice would be done to them if urgent comprehensive interventions, which were requested, were not in place.”

City spokesman Luthando Tyhalibongo said the property had been bought from the City in 1990 but the transfer had only been registered in 2017.”The City cannot confirm the alleged structural damage and would have to access the file record to check if there were any complaints in this regard,” he said, adding there was no way to do that until after the Covid-19 lockdown.

“In general, it must be noted the City cannot affect repairs to privately owned properties,” he said.

According to the DRMC, there are several steps you can take to avoid or minimise flooding and associated emergencies:

– Keep access routes open.

– Avoid building in low lying areas.

– If possible, dig trenches around structures to divert water.

– Use non-flammable materials as insulation.

– Check heating and lighting devices are on sturdy bases so can’t be knocked over.

– Use gas carefully and ensure all piping and cylinders are in good condition.

– Keep flammable items away from children.

In the event of a flood-related emergency, call 021 480 7700, from a cellphone or 107, from a landline, and give accurate detail on where flooding or damage occurred.

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