The car that NSRI volunteers towed to safety on a flatbed. Picture Onika Ranft.
The flooded caravan park. Picture Onika Ranft.
Port Alfred NSRI volunteers help fill sandbags in an effort to stop water flooding properties. Picture: Keryn van der Walt
This cliff had broken away right up to the house above. Picture: Keryn van der Walt
Erin Barkley (4) is carried to safety from a flooded Port Alfred holiday resort by NSRI volunteers JJ French and Jarred Clur. Picture Keryn van der Walt.
Picture Juan Pretorius.
Picture Juan Pretorius.
A jetty is washed out to sea. Picture Jo Anne Betts.
The Kowie river mouth. Picture Jo Anne Betts.
The NSRI in Port Alfred have continued throughout the weekend to assist the Municipality, Traffic Services, Police and the Emergency Services in the devastating flooding that occurred as a result of the heavy rainfalls.
On numerous occasions NSRI have been called to rescue people and animals trapped by flood waters in homes and in areas of Port Alfred.
Yesterday NSRI Port Alfred volunteers with strong backs and spades assisted the Municipality to temporarily rebuild the Freshwater road and bridge that had collapsed in the floods. Freshwater Road is the only access road to a suburb in Port Alfred.
Sandbags were filled and deployed to make the road passable until it can be properly repaired.
The crew have been busy non stop since last week, where heavy rain have fallen causing flooding of rivers in the Ndlambe area.
On Thursday, 18th October, the NSRI Port Alfred duty crew were activated following reports of people trapped by flood water at Meadowlina Caravan Park, Port Alfred said Juan Pretorius, NSRI Port Alfred station commander.
Municipal workers were found to be cutting up a tree that had fallen across a road, Traffic Services were assisting to divert traffic through flooded streets and Multi-Security, a local response security firm, were assisting.
“Our NSRI volunteers responded by road, negotiating flooded streets and debris on roads, to find a husband and wife and their cat, all originally from Johannesburg, trapped in their caravan by flood waters surrounding their caravan,” said Pretorius.
Pretorius said the wife had been carried out secured into a stokes basket stretcher by NSRI volunteers, the cat was carried out and the husband helped through the chest deep water that surrounded their caravan. All were safely taken to residence on higher ground.
“We then responded to nearby Shielan House, a guest lodge, where the owners, a husband and wife, their two dogs and a lodger from Cape Town were trapped by flood waters. A river of water was found to be raging through their house and their vehicle had been washed away.”
“While approaching the house across the flooded garden no sense could be made of the terrain and one of our NSRI volunteers unknowingly, while walking across the yard, walked into the swimming pool and he briefly disappeared but very soon managed to get himself out of the pool,” said Pretorius.
“At the guest lodge we brought everyone and the dogs to safety and to residence on higher ground. Their vehicle was also brought to safety.”
Pretorius said they had then assisted the owners of the Meadowlina Caravan Park themselves. He said the NSRI had towed their vehicle out of flood waters and the husband and wife, their cat and a friend were assisted to residence on higher ground.
“At 06h45, we were activated to assist at the harbour where the Marina Dredger had come loose from anchor and secured only by one line, and already adrift in the flooded river mouth, was at risk of being swept out to sea and lost if the one line had failed, our NSRI volunteers, assisted by The Marina Dredging staff, secured lines to the dredger and using only manpower pulled her out of the critical flow of flood water and into an Eddy where it was secured and taken out of harms way,” he said.
“Then between 6 and 7 whole jetties were found to be floating down the Kowie River causing damage to other jetties, boats and walkways, and we launched our sea rescue craft Kowie Rescuer and sailed up river securing jetties to the bank in an effort to prevent them suffering the same fate and causing more damage.”
Since the flooding began, Pretorius said numerous boaters, boat owners and residents along the river bank have been assisted and advised by NSRI volunteers in efforts to secure properties and assets and the situation continues to be monitored.
According to the Weather Guru, Garth Sampson, 387 millimetres of rain fell over the Port Alfred area in the past week.