Heavy rains expected to ease in Nelson Mandela Bay

By Anita Dangazele

Waterlogged roads, widespread water and electricity outages and uprooted trees due to strong winds were some of the consequences of the weekend’s storm surge in the Eastern Cape.

Thousands of residents in the metro had to bear the brunt of a compromised water supply and low-voltage electricity.

Resident Annelisa Swartz of Gevaldale said they were unable to cook or even switch on their geyser due to the weakness of the power supply in their area.

“The electricity was weak the entire weekend; we couldn’t cook or wash with hot water because it kept on tripping and falling. Imagine how cold this weekend was. We are still waiting for the municipality to fix it,” she said.

Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Gary van Niekerk said external contractors have been called in to help restore electricity.

“We hope that the additional manpower will assist us to restore supply as soon as possible,” he said.

“A section of Seaview Road is waterlogged, with the water at a depth of approximately 20cm. The dip area of Third Avenue, Newton Park is also still closed due to the Baakens River being in full flow.”

Van Niekerk said it was worth noting that the heavy rains also contributed quite positively to the metro’s dam levels.

“We are also receiving good inflow into our dams and should know in a few days how much our dam levels will improve.

“However,” he said, “we would like to encourage residents to keep on using water sparingly as restrictions are still in place, due to the prevailing drought.”

On Monday the South African Weather Service issued a statement saying that the skies were expected to clear from Tuesday.

NMBM Disaster Management Acting Head, Henry Lansdown, confirmed the communication.

“We’ve just spoken to the weather office. The rain is expected to clear today [Tuesday]. However, we can still expect heavy winds between 30 and 40 km/h,” he said.

Lansdown added that in terms of any infrastructural damage, they had only dealt with flooded homes at the Kuyga informal settlement.

Residents have since been moved to a community hall until the situation returns to normal.

Pictured above: Waterlogged roads in Gqeberha, Nelson Mandela Bay

Image source: Anita Dangazele

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