It looks like a tsunami coming!” These words were spoken by one of the Kouga Municipality’s disaster management team as he looked towards St Francis Links Golf course from the top of a hill.
The flow of water that came from the Links Golf Estate flowed into the Sand River and destroyed the bridge that spanned it.
Early yesterday morning, trenches were dug up at the Links dam to provide an escape route for the dam waters.
The Links dams have been filling up with storm waters that have flowed from the wetlands behind the Dunes farm.
Jeff Clause, from St Francis Links said that another catchment dam had been built to collect excess dam water in flood times and it was this dam wall that was unstable.
”Rather than having the water tear down the hill it’s better to allow the water to travel a different route through the reserve and then join the Sand River,” he said.
The Links team together with John Hanley from St Francis Brick and others dug huge trenches with specialised bulldozers. When the dam water found an exit route it raced down the trenches towards the Sand River.
Unfortunately the dam water gained momentum rapidly and the Sand River bridge broke. Traffic officers then blocked off the road at the traffic circle at St Francis Bay.
“ This means there is no road access to St Francis Bay at the moment,” Kouga Municipality announced.
“The Municipality’s emergency and technical services teams are busy assessing the damage to see how quickly access can be restored.”
The broken bridge resulted in hundreds of stranded motorists on either side of the huge gaping hole on the R 330.
Some people had to stay in St Francis or Humansdorp overnight while others waited while municipal officials and the disaster management team tried to repair the road.
At 5.30 pm yesterday afternoon there were giant trucks and bulldozers trying to make a temporary road, according to Stanley Baartman of the disaster management team.
On the Humansdorp side there were many taxis waiting to take the workers home. Some, who had to get home in a hurry, waded across the river assisted by municipal officials.