No major flood damage to Garden Route, Western Cape health and education infrastructure reported

Oudtshoorn during the recent floods
UNDER WATER: Oudtshoorn during the recent floods

Initial assessments along the Garden Route and in the Western Cape after last week’s floods have uncovered no major damage to health and education infrastructure.

The Garden Route district municipality conducted joint operations last week as several waterlogged roads had to be closed, and some families relocated from their homes.

While a tally has not yet been done on the monetary value of the damage caused, Western Cape infrastructure MEC Tertuis Simmers said the recent floods could not compare to the floods which had battered the area in June and September 2023.

“Preliminary reports suggest minor damage to health and education infrastructure, with reported damage mainly isolated to roof leaks which will be addressed through routine maintenance,” Simmers said.

“The main damage is to the gravel road network and this figure has not yet been tallied as we are still awaiting water levels to subside to do a full calculation.”

While some roads have been reopened, Meiringspoort Road in Oudtshoorn remains closed until further notice due to the extensive construction work taking place.

Sections of the road will have to be rebuilt as hazardous ditches have formed along the riverbanks.

The low-water bridge in the area is also damaged and remains closed to the public.

People are urged to avoid crossing at Church, Van Der Riet, Albert and Rademeyer streets because of a strong water flow.

“Motorists and pedestrians are warned to avoid using these roads as it is very dangerous,” Oudtshoorn spokesperson Aurelia Mle said.

While the Cango Caves Road is open, motorists are advised to exercise caution as there are still rockfalls.

Oudtshoorn mayor Chris Macpherson thanked the disaster management unit and all other stakeholders who were part of the joint operational centre for their commitment and good work ethic during the floods.

“They have gone the extra mile to keep residents and the executive abreast of challenges during the floods, and assisted to mitigate the danger to the lives of people and livestock.”

Garden Route municipality spokesperson Herman Pieters said they continued to work towards getting roads accessible again.

“A major focus point is at Meiringspoort, where the district roads engineering team worked the entire weekend to get the road open before schools close for the holidays,” Pieters said.



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