It was a close call for a Middelburg family on Tuesday after heavy rain hit the Mpumalanga town and threatened to trap people and dogs.
Intense and sustained rainfall over the past few days in the region resulted in the Elands River rising fast. The family resided in a home next to the river, and knew they had very little time to make a plan.
Judy Eloff from Kiepersol Guest House in Waterval Onder told Middelburg Observer when she heard of flooding in nearby Machadodrp, she knew she had to think fast.
“I knew I had about an hour before the water arrives here,” Eloff told the publication.
But this meant she could not assist her brother-in-law, Hendrik or her mother-in-law, Helen.
In a panicked WhatsApp voice note that was widely circulated, Eloff pleaded for help, to save her in-laws and their dogs from the “river house”, as she called it.
Luckily, help arrived just in time, with residents Tamlyn and Graham Dell, and Johan Esterhuizen, escorting Hendrik and all their dogs to safety.
Helen got a luxury ride with Eloff on the back of a four-wheeler.
Flooding on the N4
On Tuesday, heavy rain and hail flooded and blocked off the N4 highway near Machadodorp.
Middelburg Observer readers said the portion of the highway between Winnaarspoort and Milly’s was the most affected.
The road between Dalmanuta and Machadodorp intersections were also closed due to hail debris.
Emergency services were on the scene, but a number of motorists were stranded indefinitely in backed-up traffic while waiting for flooding to subside.
Part of this article was translated from Afrikaans and edited by Nica Richards.