To exam hall by tractor as 50 schools close, hospitals flooded on Garden Route

22 November 2021 - 18:06
By Iavan Pijoos
The National Sea Rescue Institute is helping to rescue stranded people.
Image: NSRI The National Sea Rescue Institute is helping to rescue stranded people.

Dozens of schools and roads were closed and municipal services disrupted by heavy rain and flooding along the Garden Route on Monday.

Western Cape education department spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said severe flooding had resulted in the closure of 49 schools in the George area and surrounds — Wittedrift, Pacaltsdorp and Grootbrak.

Hammond said the department ensured that all matric examination centres were open to give grade 12 candidates an opportunity to write.

“Today, they wrote the life sciences 2 paper. Contingency arrangements for learners were made in many instances to get to their examination venues, with one learner using a tractor to get from Pacaltsdorp to his school in George.

“Education officials were helping where possible,” Hammond said.

According to district health spokesperson Nadia Ferreira, clinics in George, Pacaltsdorp, Blanco, Kuyasa, Lawaaikamp and Parkdene were closed.

“George Hospital has been affected, with the major areas hit the emergency centre and theatres.  Despite this the hospital is still rendering emergency services.

“The public should phone 10177 in case of a medical emergency,” said Ferreira.

Here is another video of the flooding in George sent to us by Amber Starbuck

Posted by Storm Report SA on Sunday, November 21, 2021

More videos coming in of major flooding in George today. Please let us know if you took the video so we can credit you.

Posted by Storm Report SA on Sunday, November 21, 2021

The municipality’s spokesperson Chantel Edwards-Klose said several streets in and around the city are under water, dangerous and impassable. Figland Street, Borchards and Saasveld roads and Madiba Drive have been closed. Several passes in the Garden Route district municipality had also been closed.

Edwards-Klose said there were some power outages across the city.

“Electricians attend to issues as they occur. We appeal for your patience as safety issues may affect our electricians’ ability to deal with certain matters.”

She said a pipe burst near the N2 affected eastern suburbs, George Suid, CBD, and is expected to also affect Thembalethu, Rosedale and part of Pacaltsdorp later on Monday.

“Reservoirs remain critically low after the weekend’s raw water supply pipe burst. We ask residents to use water for essentials only.”

Edwards-Klose said municipal buildings affected by flooding are expected to reopen at about 7.45am on Tuesday.

Local government, environmental affairs and development planning MEC Anton Bredell’s spokesperson James-Brent Styan said emergency services rescued occupants trapped in two dwellings in George on Monday morning.

“The fire and rescue attended to the scene and the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) rescue boat was activated. The occupants were safely evacuated.”