Sadly, the rain from Cyclone Dando has caused extensive damage. Reports received this afternoon are that the dam walls of Demonia and Henshaws have been broken through due to the enormous amount of rain.
Early this afternoon Glen reported:
Hoedspruit is wet!
The tropical depression, Dando which hit the southern Mozambique coastline yesterday, has caused not stop rain in Hoedspruit since early yesterday morning. I am currently watching a sheet of water falling into the bush around me. We have had to hatch the farm down completely by closing it off to all traffic.
The roads themselves have become torrents and the damage to them is severe. The access road has been entirely washed away at the crossings, both on our side and on the Olifants road, making it impossible to enter or exit Jejane. The river crossing below Joubert is approximately 100m wide. Naturally the fence that was there before, no longer exists. I fear that we may have lost other fences to the flooding for example, the many crossings entering Jejane from Tshukudu, the crossing entering Jejane from Boston and the conveyor curtain on the Mohlabetsi itself.
This also means that we have shareholders stuck inside the residential area. Francois has been stuck out in his bakkie since yesterday afternoon between the Mohlabetsi River and the tributary running through Jejane and Henshaw’s dams, which are both overflowing on either side of the dam walls, with no way of reaching him. The emergency radio frequency is operating non-stop with reports coming in of dams bursting, houses collapsing and being washed away, people stranded on roof tops and in trees with the SAAF being unable to take off, tar roads and bridges being washed away, fridges and other house hold implements floating down the Olifants River. Traci is busy evacuating her horses and equipment from the stable yard in fear of the dam on the opposite side of the tar road breaching, (it is currently 1 foot below the road surface and rising). [Traci had to wade through chest high water on the access road to walk in to town to see to her horses. ]
This system leads through other dams (which would more than likely also burst) and ultimately into the Mohlabetsi River, which is already at an all-time high. Most of Nyala lodge has been flooded including the kitchen, which as you may know is well above the river bed. John Duthie had a lounge/kitchen and two bedrooms flooded at his house. His deck has been entirely washed away. The rivers have risen over all of the bridges in Hoedspruit including the Olifants, the Blyde and the Klaserie.
I have only managed to empty one of the overflowing rain gauges at the bush camp to give us an idea of the overall amount of rain fallen. Unfortunately the rest of the gauges are unreachable at this stage and are simply overflowing. At this point we have measured well over 200 mm since yesterday and there is no sign of it slowing up.
Once the rain subsides, we will be able to give a full report of the damage. It is anticipated, that it will take time to rehabilitate the damage.
If you have a Facebook account, there are photographs that you may find of interest: http://www.facebook.com/groups/7464932790