'I'm standing outside, we need help!': Shack dwellers flooded in Khayelitsha
Heavy rainfall flooded numerous shacks in Khayelitsha on Tuesday, one of several areas affected by the biggest winter storm of the year so far in Cape Town.
“There’s nothing we can do until the water goes down,” said affected resident Busisiwe Mdlungu from Site B.
“I am standing outside — we need all the help we can get,” said the shack dweller, who had to carry her six-year-old daughter to a neighbour’s house for safekeeping.
“This has never happened before, and we’ve been here for more than 20 years,” Mdlungu said, adding that they were still waiting for municipal assistance. “Yesterday our ward councillor promised that he would try to get municipal vans to drain out the water. I think it is a blocked drain.”
Numerous other residents were similarly affected, Mdlungu said.
“It is a shack, not a built house. When a car comes by it pushes water into our house. I don’t think I will be able to sleep in there.”
Cape Town’s disaster risk management centre officials reported numerous other affected areas, including busy traffic intersections.
“The worst-affected areas are informal settlements in Khayelitsha, Ottery, Langa, Strand, Philippi, Gugulethu, Delft, and Vrygrond,” the city said in a statement early on Tuesday. “The city’s transport department is providing milling and sand where it is possible to do so to raise floor levels.”
In some areas heavy rainfall collapsed the roofs of temporary houses. There had also been widespread weather-related power outages, the city said.
All available traffic services had been mobilised to deal with obstructions and localised flooding.
“There are a considerable number of roads and private properties affected,” said traffic services spokesperson Kevin Jacobs. “Our traffic officials have been assisting with road closures for flooded roads, uprooted trees obstructing roadways, defective traffic lights and our tow trucks have been extricating motorists stuck in flooded areas.
“We have responded to a number of minor motor vehicle crashes. Fortunately, no serious collisions or fatalities have been reported.
“We appeal to motorists to be patient as we endeavour to clear all the affected roads in the city. Motorists can assist us by reducing their speed, increasing their following distance and proceeding with caution.”
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