The rains came down: Floods forced Newcastle residents from their homes

PARADISE – There were dramatic scenes as floods forced residents from their homes on Tuesday evening.

The first area stricken was Paradise, after the looming threat of a brimming Ncandu River forced the evacuation of homes and relocation of many Finnemore Street residents to a temporary shelter at the Fairleigh Community Hall.

In this case, it was truly the tip of the iceberg.

Head of Two Eagles Security, Mark Jacobs and DA Councillor, Bertie Meiring were hailed as champions for rallying to assist residents where they could.

Sandbag barricades were built as the rain continued to bucket down.

“Many of the residents did not want to leave – they underestimated how quickly the water was rising,” Mr Jacobs explained.

Head of Disaster Management, Nelson Mpeko later confirmed the Ncandu, Ingagane and Buffalo rivers had filled to the extent that flash floods were reported in Newcastle, oSizweni and Madadeni.

The waters left Lennoxton, Paradise, Siyahlala-la, Section 3 and Section 5 underwater.

“At least two houses were destroyed by flood waters in Madadeni,” he added.

In response to the dire water situation, the Disaster Management Team formulated and acted upon a contingency plan.

Numerous shelters were set up across the Newcastle area.

These included the Fairleigh Community Hall, the Farmers Hall, the Madadeni Community Hall, the oSizweni Community Hall and eMzamo High School.

Relief material was set to be distributed.

Things took a turn for the dramatic early on Wednesday morning, when a family was stranded within their home on the corner of Sutherland and Jenkyn streets.

It was then the gravity of the flood was truly realised.

SAPS divers, Two Eagles Security, municipal employees and responders from Newcastle 911 quickly sprang to action.

By means of a boat, the residents were brought to safety.

Read full story in the Newcastle Advertiser newspaper out every Thursday.


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Bruce Douglas

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