Worst Flood Damage to Western Cape Roads Since 2007 | Western Cape Government



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(Provincial Cabinet, Western Cape Government)

Worst Flood Damage to Western Cape Roads Since 2007

8 September 2011

Robin Carlisle, the Minister for Transport and Public Works in the Western Cape, today announced that traffic in the Eden District Municipality is almost completely back to normal after the worst flood damage to Western Cape roads since 2007.

''I am happy to announce that traffic in Eden is back to normal, except at the two construction sites on the N12 between Oudtshoorn and George and the N9 Outeniqua Pass, where the road is open to single-lane traffic in both directions.''

The N12 was closed after several hundred tons of red sandstone collapsed onto it in a cutting about 10 km from Oudtshoorn on 29 July, effectively isolating the popular tourist destination off from George. The Outeniqua Pass, meanwhile, was closed on 26 August after heavy rock falls.

''The closure of the Outeniqua Pass had a knock-on effect on the Montagu Pass, where traffic needed to be carefully controlled due to heavy traffic diverted from the Pass. Traffic on the Montagu Pass is also back to normal.''

This year's flood damage to the province's roads has already reached a total of around R150 million.

''The main culprit was the unseasonable heavy June rains in the Eden District Municipality, which have resulted in R114 million worth of damage to our roads.''

The June floods also caused damage to roads in the Cape Winelands and Central Karoo to the tune of R13 million and R2 million respectively.

''Eden has been hardest hit over the past five years, but this is the first time since June 2006 (R30 million damage) that the floods have come in winter. Floods usually affect Eden in November - as in 2007, which, with road damage in Eden, the Cape Winelands, the Overberg and on the West Coast reaching R410 million, was the worst in the past half-decade.''

In November 2008, floods caused R110 million damage, while the Western Cape was flood-free in 2009 and 2010.

''Most of the money we are spending this year will once again be used to repair roads and bridges near or over rivers. Many of these rivers are usually a trickle or have limited flows. Often after heavy rain a flood surge brings destructive debris with it. Logs and branches slam into the culverts and bridges, eventually blocking the flow of the water, then taking out the approaches or even the surrounding fields.''

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