St Francis Bay residents are told not to panic

Residents of St Francis Bay have been told that there is no immediate danger that the pool of water between the dunes above Santareme will breach and flood the area.

This follows a site meeting by Kouga Municipality’s technical team and the St Francis Bay Residents Association yesterday morning.

Kouga Executive Mayor Booi Koerat, who visited the area on Saturday, said while the dune walls of the dam showed no sign of structural strain, the municipality would be putting in place a syphon system to drain water from the dam systematically and ease the pressure on the walls.

“We aim to have the system in place within the next few days. The water will be syphoned out and diverted into our stormwater system,” he said.

The Mayor said staff would also be monitoring the dam closely in the event of further rain.

He said two municipal sewerage lines had been severed by the torrent of water that flooded through Santareme on Saturday, September 15, after the wall of the smaller dune dam breached.

He assured residents that there was no danger of a sewerage spill, as there was sufficient capacity at the pump station for the sewerage to be stored until temporary lines had been installed.

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“Vacuum tankers will also be brought in if necessary,” he said. “We will start with the permanent repairs once the damage has been assessed by our insurance company.”

Damage to a water pipe in Tom Brown Boulevard, which left several houses without water, was repaired on Saturday.

The Mayor expressed his heartfelt condolences to those home-owners who were affected by the disaster. He further thanked the municipal staff who worked tirelessly over the weekend to restore the water supply and to fill up the craters that had been ripped into the sidewalks and roads.

Residents are still concerned that the coffer wall might still be breached if it is not reinforced and more rain falls, causing the dam level to rise.

A breach would be catastophic for Santareme as the existing dune pool is much bigger than the dam that burst over the weekend.

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