Raging river sweeps banks and walls away – Highway Mail
“We are so lucky compared to a lot of people as we can fix this and are not dealing with the drowning of children or the loss of life!”
These were the words of Martine Klette, resident of one of the units at Petshell Complex in New Germany, when part of her boundary wall was washed away by the Palmiet River in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
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Her partner, John Abbott, said he heard two loud thuds, as though someone was violently shaking the prefab panels at about 01:30. Through the gap between the h-posts they saw the riverbank had washed away, and with it two sections of their prefab wall.
Upriver their neighbours, the Prinsloos, were fearing that their entire home would slide down with the raging river. The river, which is usually only a trickle, had widened to about 12 metres and risen by almost three metres during the storm on Monday night.
Mr Prinsloo says at around 20:30 he and his wife Jules, heard a loud crash and breaking branches as the bank and trees on the opposite side of the river washed away.
“We were awoken about the same time as John on Tuesday morning, and discovered our entire wall was gone,” said Mr Prinsloo.
About eight prefabs and h-posts of their boundary wall had dropped with about two metres of garden paving. Plants and garden pots were also destroyed by the river. The river’s water level had risen to about a metre away from the start of the Prinsloo’s property.
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“The relentless rain had us fearing that the river was going to get higher and eventually wash our house away,” a very tired Mrs Prinsloo told Highway Mail.
At about 8:00 on Tuesday the rain eventually stopped, and although the river started to subside, the wake of its destruction will be felt and seen for a long time by residents of Petshell.
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