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Posts Tagged ‘Vredenal’

So our little nook of the world has been in the news on the front pages of some leading newspapers.
It is tragic that many homes and businesses were flooded, but in the sunshine the water looks so beautiful… and you tend to feel humbled by the power of water.

So here’s our story of the flood:
I had a training course in Cape Town at Tygerberg Hospital on Tuesday. My Mom was also flying back to Gauteng, so Henk drove us down. The Monday evening already the water level was quite high, and in some places the Olifant’s Rivier already pushed over it’s banks.
I did urge Henk that maybe it was safest to leave Monday evening already… we still only left Tuesday morning 4:30. We were lucky with the trip. Not too many trucks; just wet roads and some showers. But during my course I heard that a lot of the roads around Vredendal were closed, and that the bridge into town from Vanrhynsdorp had cracked.

Henk and I decided not to sleep over in Cape Town, but to rather get home soon. I’d rather be stuck at home that in the city. The 2 roads from Klawer to Vredendal were still closed when we got to Klawer. So we went via Vanrhynsdorp. At the bridge we asked the road block staff if Holrivier road was accessible. The radioed message was that we can try but at our own risk. The road is tarred most of the way, but the last 7’ish km to Lutzville is dirt; probably mud. We pushed on.
I drive an Opel Corsa Lite 2007 model. No 4 wheel drive, no traction control, just front wheel drive. Henk kept us on the road, through mud and water and 1 oncoming car. My worst fear was that we’ll get stuck on that stretch and the people we knew that could tow us out, couldn’t even leave their farms due to the water. This was around 8 on Tuesday night.
We reached Lutzville and headed home. I nearly panicked when I saw that lights from the farm houses were reflected off a giant lake. We were 300m from our front door, but couldn’t get to it. The whole vineyard and road was flooded. Henk turned the car around and we managed to drive on the canal road that passes the back of our house – it’s a single lane dirt road parallel the canal.

Since yesterday the bridge to Vredendal has been opened for traffic, but I can’t use it, because then I have to travel via the Holrivier road – it’s a mess now due to the 4×4’s crossing. The tar road to Vredendal from Lutzville was still inaccessible this morning. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Here’s some pics of what Lutzville looks like.

Click for more

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