Update: Rescue workers have their hands full with Lowveld floods

The raging Kaap river which a pregnant woman couldn't cross to get to hospital.

NELSRUIT – The entire Mpumalanga is flooding and rescue workers from the Lowveld have their hands full in aiding people in danger.

Since midnight today, police divers have rescued nine people and are enroute to the Highveld to retrieve the bodies of five people that have reportedly drowned.

Nelspruit itself has received 80 milimetres of rain since Monday night. Although SANParks is yet to issue a press release on camps and roads in the Kruger National Park that had to be closed due to flooding, Lowvelder can confirm that Crocodile Bridge Gate is closed.

WO Oubaas Coetzer, spokesman for Skukuza police, added that SANParks’ helicopter was summoned to Shishangeni Private Lodge near this gate to transport a man that has been bitten by a snake. He couldn’t leave via the normal routes.

A helicopter of Mpumalanga Emergency Medical Services has also airlifted a pregnant woman who was scheduled to undergo a C-section at a hospital this morning. She was stuck on the other side of the Kaap river between Low’s Creek and Barberton. Volunteers of Off-road Rescue Unit tried to reach her by crossing a train bridge in the area, but they couldn’t. The helicopter was then summoned.

Divers of police stationed at White River have been dispatched all over the Lowveld since midnight today to rescue people whose vehicles got swept away by raging waters.

Capt Pottie Potgieter told Lowvelder that they had saved nine people. He and his wife, Capt Joey Potgieter, are enroute to the Highveld to retrieve the bodies of five people who have reportedly drowned near towns like Amsterdam and Piet Retief.

WO Danie Theron is currently on his way to scenes near Strydomblok in Nkomazi where more people have reportedly gone missing.

This is a video sent in by a reader from Komatipoort. The footage was shot on Wednesday March 5 near the Komatipoort pump house:

View readers’ photos of the flooding here

Bushveld Lodge, Nelspruit area Wedn 5 March

See a gallery of flooding in January 2013 here.

Read flood warning and precautions here:


Nicolene Smalman
News editor

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