- Mopping-up operations are in full swing in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality following heavy rains over the weekend.
- More than 1 000 residents had to be evacuated.
- The police say no deaths have been reported.
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has issued a yellow level 2 warning for more disruptive rain over the Kouga and Nelson Mandela Bay metros on Thursday.
This as mop-up operations in Nelson Mandela Bay are in full swing after heavy rains over the weekend saw more than 1 000 residents evacuated from their homes.
SAWS said a cold front with a ridging high-pressure system was expected to bring rain and showers over the south coast with between 20 and 30mm rainfall expected in the evening.
"Due to the previous rainfall event, soil moisture levels should still be high, enhancing the risk of flooding, especially during the morning," it added.
Spokesperson Garth Sampson said some areas were already saturated and any rainfall had the potential of causing flooding.
"All models agree that we will have moderate to heavy rain in places around the city. This naturally will affect those areas.
"The catchment will also receive follow-up rain, which will be advantageous for run-off to the dams, however, it is not enough to solve our water crisis," Sampson added.
Yellow level 2 warning for disruptive rain expected over Kouga and Nelson Mandela Bay metro area of the Eastern Cape tomorrow, 18-05-2023. Valid from 00:00 until 12:00 pm. pic.twitter.com/UJDeLSlkpx— SA Weather Service (@SAWeatherServic) May 17, 2023
Meanwhile, the SA Social Security Agency, local businesses, religious leaders, and humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers have begun clean-up operations across Nelson Mandela Bay to mitigate the impact of the heavy rains and subsequent flooding that occurred.
Municipal spokesperson Mamela Ndamase said affected residents were accommodated in community halls and local churches where they received assistance.
The affected residents are from Jachvlate, Motherwell, New Brighton, KwaZakhele, Edongweni, Airport Valley and Red Location, among others.
Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security Lawrence Troon said social workers were on the ground with officials to assist people.
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Troon added infrastructure and engineering teams were draining the water and reopening some affected roads.
"We want to speed up our response so that their [residents] lives can go back to normal, but we cannot do that without doing the assessments first because the cases are different, and we need to respond to each case adequately," he said.
Resident Lungiswa Yaka told News24 she was "very happy" to be back home.
"My sister had to go and stay with my aunt because she gave birth recently to a baby boy and couldn't stay at her place due to the damage the floods caused," Yaka said.
Another resident, Nononelelo Mboyi, said the floods had damaged all her personal belongings, adding she was grateful for the assistance she had received.
"We were told that we would be able to go back home on Wednesday but was warned more heavy rains were coming by the evening, so it looks like me and my family will stay in the shelter until it is safe to go back home."
A grief-stricken Mboyi said social workers took her back to her place of residence, adding all her belongings had been destroyed.
"I was very emotional when I saw what my house looked like now compared to before the floods. It was very heart-breaking. When I do go back it is not going to be the same as everything is ruined."
Another resident said she and her family have been at the community shelter since Sunday and was "extremely grateful" for the warm food provided.
"I thank God for the people that is here assisting us. My kids were able to get food the whole weekend and even now and I'm thankful for that.
"The water at my house was rising very high and we couldn't stay there. I was worried about my children and what they will eat and wear because all our belongings are gone," she added.
According to Troon, it might take a few days for everything to dry up, urging residents to be patient.
"Most importantly, we are appealing to our communities to refrain from illegal dumping and inserting foreign objects into our infrastructure as it is during these heavy rains that we see the negative impact caused by such acts," he added.
Eastern Cape police spokesperson Warrant Officer Majola Nkohli said no deaths were reported.
The province's disaster management has provided blankets, and Gift of the Givers is assisting with hot meals.
The Eastern Cape co-coordinator for Gift of the Givers, Corene Conradie, said they received calls from disaster management, councillors, and residents to assist locals whose homes and possessions have been affected.
"Urgent needs include mattresses, blankets, hot meals, sanitary pads, diapers, bottled water and hygiene packs. Food parcels, stationery, uniforms and building materials will have to follow," Conradie added.
She said several communities have been opened to those affected by the floods.
"Most of the residents are elderly, disabled and children. The situation is not good, the water is chest high in some areas and a lot of residents' personal belongings have been affected," Conradie added.