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Floods in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, October 2012

Updated on December 28, 2016

Rains in the Eastern Cape caused much Havoc and Damage

The rains that fell in the Eastern Cape in South Africa in October 2012 caused much damage to roads and property. The rains fell for days on end and resulted in widespread flooding.

The downpour of rain just never seemed to stop. When it stopped for a day sometimes we thought; well the washing will get dry now, we can get outside more; but then it started raining again and flooding, and flood damage resulted.

Have you had recent heavy rains, tornadoes or hurricanes or very strong winds in your area lately? Does the wind blow for days on end in your city or place where you live? It blows a lot here in Port Elizabeth, especially in October and November.

Does it perhaps snow where you live, what's it like to have snow falling for days on end, how do you get around in your motor vehicle when it snows a lot?

Big hole in the National Road between Port Elizabeth & Grahamstown - The damage confused some motorists: accidents occurred

Photo from local newspaper 'The Herald'
Photo from local newspaper 'The Herald'

This Photo and all large Photos below from local newspaper

Rains kept Falling, Floods and much Damage Resulted

Floods took their toll on our Province

In October this year here in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, we experienced heavy and persistent rains for about two weeks. Initially It rained for a few days, then it stopped for a day, then it rained again for a few days; it stopped for a day or two, but it started yet again.

The local newspaper reported eight deaths due to the flooding and the havoc that it caused. Houses were flooded, landslides blocked roads and some roads became rivers. In Port Elizabeth two cars were swept away after a bridge collapsed.

Widespread damage and havoc was caused by the flooding that resulted from the rains, a whole section of the National road between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown collapsed and caused accidents. The road will take months to repair and a detour will have to be built. Many people had to turn back and were unable to continue on to their destination. There were some alternative routes that people started using; these took much longer to travel on than the usual main route.

Further up the coast from Port Elizabeth, two places that received the most rain were Bushmans River and Port Alfred and much damage was caused there. One house in Port Alfred was washed away and many others came close to receiving the same fate. The newspaper showed photos of people on their garage roofs in this small coastal town and people having to use rubber ducks in some areas.

Back in Port Elizabeth it was reported that more than 2000 people were evacuated. Many areas were badly damaged, a bridge leading to a local park was washed away. The two main rivers in the area, the Baakens and Swartkops rivers burst their banks causing much havoc. A religious group became trapped along the Swartkops river and had to be rescued by the local NSRI. The road leading to the airport had to be closed on one side when a huge hole appeared across it. This will probably take months to repair. The people in the townships of Port Elizabeth otherwise known as PE or the Bay, suffered much from the floods as many live in shacks which are often more vulnerable when heavy rains occur.

Stories of heroism and help by neighbours emerged around the province. Another place that was badly affected was St. Francis Bay when the bridge leading to it collapsed. A section of a bridge between Nanaga and Port Alfred also collapsed and the road had to be closed. So many areas in the province were affected that it is difficult to mention them all; needless to say, trauma in peoples lives resulted, and stories of people having to be helped in various difficult situations, emerged.

The Joint Operations Centre (JOC) at the South End Fire Station in PE became the nerve centre during this crisis. The staff there worked constantly, busy on the phones and attempting to organise multiple relief efforts to deal with the severe flooding and its consequences. Trees falling across roads and onto houses and buildings was another problem for which they had to secure help. Naturally a certain amount of chaos and mayhem resulted during this crisis but much was also done to help those suffering or in need.

Fortunately the place I live in didn't flood and many other people were also safe and secure in their homes, but it was awful to hear of the thousands of others that were affected, and to see images of devastation and destruction on TV news broadcasts. It was reported that a years rainfall fell in one week. Farmers who, although they always need good rains, experienced crop damage throughout the province due to the persistent heavy downpours. Some lost pumps during this time and the constant downpours kept them from being able to do any work on their farms.

It was really just a terrible time for many; it is likely that reports of the death toll will rise; the cost of repairs to damaged infrastructure, houses, roads etc, will probably run into millions. We had some floods here in 2008 but these ones are more than likely much worse. Across the globe we hear of Hurricane Sandy that caused havoc in America and various other areas, on a much bigger scale than our floods here in South Africa.

Somehow people manage to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives in these situations, attempt to put them together again and carry on with their lives, with much that has to be seen to and sorted out; sometimes this takes months or perhaps even years when damage to houses or injury to the body has occurred.

Even a local graveyard was so badly flooded that it has closed until the water subsides and the muddy roads dry out. This means that people who want to bury their deceased loved ones have to have them embalmed until normality returns to the graveyard.

So many peoples lives are affected when these natural disasters strike and we don't hear half of the problems that people have to face at times like this; one can only hope that the area won't flood for years to come.

Damage on the Road to the Airport

Flood Damage

Outdoor Clothing and Accessories available Here

The heavy rains we experienced in our province and city in South Africa caused widespread damage, loss of lives, trauma and mayhem.

If you have had similar floods or hurricanes in your area find items here for sale to protect you from the rain and strong winds.

Using Buckets to Bale out Water

Boundary Rd in Mount Pleasant, PE.

Port Alfred houses under water

Bushmans River flowing higher than usual

The dip in 3rd avenue Newton Park

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Floods in the Eastern Cape South Africa - Your Comments

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    • Dave Lynch profile imageAUTHOR

      David Edward Lynch 

      5 years ago from Port Elizabeth, South Africa

      @mirekusoft123: Thanks for the comment, compliment,


    • profile image


      5 years ago

      nice lens

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great Lens you got here! It was an eyeopener into the kind of rains and floods in your area. Thumbs up!


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