Costs counted after floods

2019-02-20 06:00
The car from which a woman was rescued in the flooded subway in Dr Belcher Road. Photo: Teboho Setena

The car from which a woman was rescued in the flooded subway in Dr Belcher Road. Photo: Teboho Setena

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Residents of the Mangaung Metro Municipality affected by sporadic floods due to good rainfall last week are counting the costs.

The Mangaung Metro became a hotspot for flash floods, which caused mayhem in certain areas of Bloemfontein due to torrential rainfall experienced over at least five days.

Numerous roads, either having no storm-water drains or with these being blocked, were under water and temporarily closed off for traffic.

Flooding had some residents in low-lying areas displaced and such were temporarily housed at alternative venues after intervention by the Mangaung Metro city council and other entities.

The flash floods that ravaged the City of Roses caused damage to some roads in the city and left some vehicle owners in distress due to damages incurred.

At least four vehicles, which include a government am­bulance, were trapped under the bridge in the Dr Belcher subway, which was flooded with water more than a meter deep.

The vehicles became trapped as their drivers attempted to drive through the water, even though it was not flowing.

An unidentified woman narrowly escaped death on Friday morning (15/02) after she was rescued from her car, which had become trapped in the flooded subway.

Qondile Khedama, spokesperson of the Mangaung Metro, said 101 people had been affected in Bloemfontein. He said the affected 70 people from Bergman Square were housed at the Grassland Community Hall, while 31 from Bochabela were housed at the Clive Solomon Clubhouse in Heidedal.

Khedama said aid in the form of food, blankets and mattresses was rendered by the city council and its partners, the Red Cross and the provincial Department of Social Development.

According to Khedama, people heavily affected in Bloemfontein were from Pellissier, Heidedal, Fauna, Grassland, Phahameng and Fichardt Park.

He said in Thaba Nchu and Botshabelo reports were about flooded houses.

“The Mangaung Metro Disaster Management officials and the provincial Department of Social Development are busy profiling and conducting assessments on the conditions of all houses affected, particularly in Bergman Square,” said Khedama.

He also referred to the issue of the flooding of roads.

“Stormwater drainage systems were blocked as a result of high volumes of water. Our assessment has shown that because of historical spatial planning, the system is constructed in a way that doesn’t accommodate every location.

“The city, in its endeavour to improve the system, is consulting with other experts within the engineering sector.”

He said employees of the council have started cleaning canals, beginning with Bergman Square and moving along to Heide­dal.


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