Most community members point to around their thigh area to illustrate how deep the flooding was, both in their homes and on the streets.
“We just kept mopping and mopping,” says Marie September, who is in the process of picking up the pieces and mopping up her home. “As we mopped, the water kept coming in. It’s bad, bad, bad,” she says.
Her laminated floors are being stripped because they were damaged by the water.
“I cannot do anything with these floors anymore. You step on them and water comes out. I have to replace them. I must replace them and everything else that was damaged,” she says.
Her tone changes as she speaks about how all of this could have been avoided had the drainage system been better cared for.
“It’s unfair,” she says, her voice cracking. “They [the City of Cape Town] need to take better care of the drain system.”
Steady downpours on Tuesday left parts of Cape Town flooded and many roads inaccessible.
Not far from September’s home, Charmaine Leonard is busy taking out the last of her items from her house. Kitchen cupboards, a microwave, a stove, a bed and other essential home furniture and appliances sit outside her front door.
Had to ‘abandon’ their home
Leonard describes how she and a friend decided they were going to abandon her house as the water started streaming into her home.
She says she had been watching television and decided that she, together with her friend, would much rather be safe at Leonard’s mother’s home.
“The power went off,” she remembers. “We only saw how bad it was when we got back this morning.”
Other areas affected by the rains are in Athlone, Gatesville, Diep River and Wallacedene. In Manenberg, the canal in Silverstream Road overflowed, leading to a number of houses being flooded.
The City’s Roads Infrastructure and Management Department’s standby crews used digger loaders to clear the canal and unblock drains.
Earlier on Wednesday, Charlotte Powell, of the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Management, confirmed that informal settlements affected by the rains included Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Philippi, and Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay.
No emergency sheltering was activated and there were no evacuations.
Mop-up operations were underway across the city, but more rain is expected later on Wednesday afternoon.