Floods leave Botshabelo residents high and dry

Residents waited for a little sunshine to dry their soaked furniture. PHOTO: LEBAKENG NKABI

Heavy rain was experienced by Botshabelo last Sunday night, leaving houses and a preschool alongside Jazzman Mokhothu Highway in G section next to Telkom Park damaged.

Many residents were stranded without electricity from Sunday until Tuesday morning. The tide was so strong, it managed to move a shipment container by a metre.

Resident Makhotso Maleke told Bloemfontein Courant that trying to sleep through the thunder and lightning was traumatic. “The thunder and lightning was so scary, I could not sleep. When I got out of the house on Monday morning, I was surprised to find my whole yard was filled with water.

My kitchen was hit the worst and we had to sweep the water out. We had to wait for a little sunshine to put our furniture outside so that it could dry.”

Residents waited for a little sunshine to dry their soaked furniture. PHOTO: LEBAKENG NKABI

Maleke added the reason for the water flowing into their homes is the water system which is not working properly. “There was too much water which had made its way into our homes. We have told our ward councillor about this problem but have not received any assistance.

On Sunday I was scared along with my children because the rain was really heavy and made worse by the lightning which took out the electricity. We are asking for help from the government, and any good Samaritans out there. We have heard more rain is coming, which makes it all very frightening,” said Maleke.

Mangaung spokesperson, Qondile Khedama said that Disaster Risk Management conducted assessments and Roads & Storm water division executed remedial actions by opening blocked catch-pit inlets (drains) in the areas and this will continue during the course of the week.

“The following incidents were reported to our Disaster Management Control Centre, including one house and two shacks in J Section that were water logged. The house is still habitable, but the occupants of the two shacks have been relocated to another dwelling. Five houses in G Section were water logged, the dwellings are still habitable.

Four households in B Section were water logged and are still habitable,” said Khedama.
He added that ± 600 metres of road in G Section have been eroded by rainwater.

Three initiates were rescued by Fire & Rescue and Provincial EMS after being cut off by rising floodwater in the stream at Sannaspos on the N8 close to their initiation school.
Cautionary measures that residents can take during rainy weather:

Disaster Risk Management requests communities to prepare better for possible flooding, especially those situated in flood-prone areas:
• Make sandbags to divert water away from your house;
• Make furrows to channel water into streets;
• Clean gutters of your house regularly;
• Clear leaves and debris from drains;
• Regularly repair your house, especially roof leaks.

Lebakeng Nkabi