Flooding leaves trail of destruction in Johannesburg

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A number of people have been rescued in different parts of Johannesburg following heavy downpours on Thursday. Several areas have been flooded including Orlando in Soweto, Nancefield and Lenasia and parts of Roodepoort. Shacks in informal settlements have been swept away, trees uprooted, and roads cracked under intense flooding. Rescue teams have had their hands full in an effort to rescue those stranded.

An 88-year-old woman has been rescued by emergency personnel in Naledi Soweto after a wall collapsed. In Florida in the West Rand, one person has been rescued from a tree and was taken to hospital to receive treatment for hyperthermia. In Kliptown, three people were rescued from a house.

Joburg’s emergency services spokesperson, Xolile Khumalo says, “Two EMS teams have been deployed in two areas. One in Kliptown and the other in Florida Lake. In Florida the team has managed to rescue a patient who was stuck in a tree. We are requesting the community to be very cautious when driving. There are few roads that have been closed. Nancefield in Soweto and Christian de Wit in Florida.”

VIDEO: Impact of flooding in Gauteng:

A number of shacks at an informal settlement in Orlando East were swept away. A woman who sells mealies says water levels began to rise around 2am. She says her vegetable patch that was on the riverbank has been washed away.

“I had vegetables and pumpkins that we were already harvesting. People who live closer to the riverbank were evacuated around 2 in the morning. That shack over there by the riverbank, it’s only a matter of time before it slides into the water. And I understand the owner is not around,” she explains.

One of the hardest hit places was Kliptown. A resident says he has not slept since the early hours of this morning as he feared that his mother could be swept away.

“Just there by the riverbank, that’s where my mother’s shack is located. Let me not even talk about children falling into the water. Even an adult person will never survive this. I’m just grateful no one died,” he adds.

Several roads damaged:

Meanwhile, City Power says the flood has resulted in them dealing with huge power outages.

Spokesperson Isaac Mangena says they have received about 4 000 calls about outages since Friday morning. Areas such as Hursthill, Randburg, Roodepoort and Lenasia are heavily affected.

“And the rains last night have exacerbated the situation making our recovery efforts difficult. We are still dealing with huge backlogs in different parts of the City, with outage calls this morning sitting close to 4 000. Half of those calls are over 24hrs, with areas such as Hursthill, Randburg, Roodepoort, and Lenasia heavily affected. While most of the trees on our infrastructure have been cleared, it is the integrity of the equipment that we are monitoring and attending to. These include the flooded chambers, submerged mini substations, washed-up poles, eroded cables, and cable faults with some popping in the aftermath of the heavy storms,” Mangena elaborates.

City of Joburg’s emergency services say they will continue to monitor the situation.

City officials visit affected areas: