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