Little action from metro on flood damage

A frustrated Clr Bill Rundle standing on the debris and rubble on the First Avenue bridge.

Stephan Lehman

For Edenvale, rain has become both a blessing and a cause of great concern – even fear.

After last week’s rainfall, Clr Bill Rundle (ward 19) said community members fear they will relive the night of November 9, last year.

He said between February 20 and the morning of February 22, Edenvale received an estimated 170ml of rain.

“Luckily, this rain fell over a two-and-a-half day period. If it had been all at once, the town would have been flooded again,” said Clr Rundle.

He is concerned about the amount of debris in the Eastleigh Spruit.

Multimedia: Videos and gallery from November 9 floods

Clr Rundle believes that if the debris is not removed from the spruit, heavy rainfall could see Edenvale flooded again.

On the evening of February 21, following the continuous rainfall, Clr Rundle said the Sixth Avenue bridge was submerged in water twice.

He said the debris preventing water from flowing underneath the bridge resulted in the water level rising.

“I have asked the municipality to remove the debris after the floods of last year,” said Clr Rundle.

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Since November the NEWS has reported extensively on the flood damage and requested comment from the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality on numerous occasions in an attempt to obtain answers to residents’ questions regarding plans to address the spruit and flood damage. Only limited responses have been received.

However, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.

Clr Rundle said on February 20, during a meeting facilitated by Ekurhuleni’s Department of Disaster Management, officials from national, provincial and local government accompanied local ward councillors on a tour through Edenvale to look at the damage caused by previous floods.

“We showed the officials the scope of the problem in Edenvale and that it was not an overreaction from the councillors,” said Clr Rundle.

He said two reports are planned to be compiled by the DEMS.

“Ten million Rand has also been put aside by the metro to be used on Central and First Avenue bridges. I was also informed that a construction company has been commissioned by the city to attend to the damaged Central Avenue bridge,” said Clr Rundle.

Despite the progress, Clr Rundle said if heavy rainfall does occur in Edenvale before the debris in the spruit is cleared, water will flow over most of Edenvale’s bridges again.

He said this could cause further damage to the infrastructure of Edenvale.

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A request for comment was sent to Ekurhuleni’s Department of Communication, the office of the MMC of Infrastructure Services, spokesperson of the DEMS and the spokesperson in the mayoral office.

The NEWS requested comment by February 27 and asked the metro to confirm the information provided by Clr Rundle as well as when the metro plans to have the spruit cleared of debris.

No comment had been received at the time of going to print.

Stephan Lehman

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