GALLERY: Flooding wreaks havoc in Tshwane … and it’s not over yet

GALLERY: Flooding wreaks havoc in Tshwane … and it’s not over yet

Residents of Mamelodi struggle through floodwaters, 9 December 2019. Picture: Jacques Nellis

The Hennops River bursts its banks yesterday and parts of Gauteng have been flooded – and there is more to come, warns forecaster.

The capital city’s flooding woes are not over as the heavy rain, which wreaked havoc across Tshwane for the past few days, is expected to continue today.

Disaster struck yesterday when flash floods and rain left parts of the city under water, leaving homes and roads damaged and hundreds of people homeless.

The five-day downpour led to street closures and emergency services rescuing people trapped by the water. Mamelodi, Centurion, Bronkhorstspruit and Soshanguve were the most affected, while potholes and flooded roads resulted in traffic congestion.

Centurion, a flood hot spot, was deep in water with the Hennops River overflowing into people’s homes. Staff and guests stranded in Centurion Lake Hotel were airlifted by military helicopters to safety.

A Hennopspark resident, Rina Booysens, said the river was flowing in her home after a wall broke, allowing the flood waters to stream into her house.

“Everything was fine but then the wall broke down around 10am and that is when the water came through my house. The Hennops River is now in my house,” she told The Citizen.

Brandon Muller, who also lives in Hennopspark, said he thought his house was being burgled when he was woken by screams from his sister around 5am.

“As I got out of bed to attend to her, I was met with water in the house. The entire house is damaged. I will have to find another place to sleep,” he said.

Residents of an Eerste Fabriek informal settlement in Mamelodi were left stranded and pleading for help.

More than 700 shacks were swept away by the water yesterday morning when it unexpectedly flooded through the area in the early hours.

Those remaining were trapped in their flooded shacks, while some had climbed onto their roofs for safety.

According to residents, four children were swept away but were later pulled out of the water by the community.

“We warned people living near the river to evacuate but they refused as they desperately need a place to stay,” said resident Prince Mavhungu.

But disaster could continue today as the city, and Gauteng, brace for an 80% chance of rain, the SA Weather Service said.

“This rain will continue until Wednesday, when we expect a 30% chance of rain. Rain doesn’t yet seem likely for Friday,” forecaster Kgolofelo Mahlangu said.

Tshwane emergency services urged residents and motorists to be vigilant as the ground was fully saturated, spokesperson Charles Mabaso said.

“This means we will have a lot of free-running water. We call upon residents in low-lying areas to be vigilant and evacuate should the water rise,” he said.

rorisangk@citizen.co.za

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