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Storm flooding along beachfront

What is being described as a “cloud burst” over Gordon’s Bay on Friday morning (6 November) resulted in a portion of Beach Road being flooded for a few hours as water levels reached knee-depth and caused several cars to break down.

The downpour occurred just before noon, with torrential rain also reported in Strand and Somerset West. But the brunt of the downpour was felt along Beach Road, as water flowed down the mountain and created a channel, where it gathered along the roadway and rose about half a metre.

“There was just water gushing everywhere and it started to rise very quickly,” said Greeff van Zyl, a manager of Talla’s Tavern. “It was the first time I’d experienced something like this. Fortunately there was no damage,” he said, adding it had been storming for about an hour.

Despite concerns that the drainage of the area was to blame for flooding, Van Zyl felt it was a “freak storm and couldn’t necessarily be avoided”.

At Bachelor’s Pub just a few feet away, water seeped into the premises via the hallway where the water channel flowed furiously, carrying sand and stones in its path, said an employee, Marisca Opperman.

“As soon as the flooding started, the power tripped and some parts of the building began to leak, but no serious damage was sustained,” she said. “Everyone was trying to help – some started clearing the drains and others assisted those who had their vehicles stuck in the water.”

Other business owners along Beach Road noted that several vehicles were stuck in the water and several tow truck companies responded.

Officials of the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management Centre as well as Traffic Services arrived on the scene to coordinate traffic and assess the situation.

Charlotte Sinclair was having breakfast at Tallas at the time. She said two unknown men assisted with her bakkie during the flash flood. “The vehicle was swaying from side to side as it was lifted by the water,” she said. “Fortunately these two men came from nowhere and helped prevent the car from smashing into the wall. I didn’t get their names, but I really want to say thank them so much.”

She is also thankful to a woman who worked hard to clear a drain. “I’ve never seen anything like that before, I want to be angry, but can’t be angry with Mother Nature.”

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