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Torrent takes WASA pump house at Glencoe raging waters terrorise neighbourhood
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Flood waters rage down Westvale Avenue in Westvale Park, Glencoe. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA

The community of Westvale Park, Glencoe, and others north of Gittensdale were cut off yesterday when flood waters demolished the La Horquette Road after breaking the banks of the La Horquette River. Westvale Avenue was turned into a raging torrent of water from 5.30 am, as the water rushed down the hillside, destroying several cars and SUVs in its path. The street was left impassable by the huge amount of material that came from the hills.


An 18-foot deep watercourse, built to take the usually heavy flow of water when it rains, was filled with material that came down from the hillside, causing the water to overflow into the street. Several houses at Westvale were flooded and residents had to dig in and help themselves because help could not reach them since the La Horquette Road at Gittensdale, caved in.


Residents said the river brought down a tree which struck the bridge leading into Gittensdale and blocked the free flow of water under the bridge. That water eventually ate away the bank and undermined the adjoining roadway, taking with it a WASA pump house that services the area. A few hundred metres down the street from Gittensdale, Glen Holder and his son Darren narrowly escaped with their lives as flood waters tore through their ground-floor home.


“We woke up to the sound of a heavy roar as the neighbours were calling out to us, but within minutes the entire house was flooded. If I didn’t break the window for my son and me to climb out, we would have been washed down the river,” Holder told the Sunday Guardian.


He said the water from the overflowing river dragged two cars into his fence, breaking it down and sending water crashing into his house. The water smashed through a window, flooding the ground floor of the house where Holder lived with his four children. It broke a hole through what was his bedroom wall, before tearing down the fence bordering the river.


“Everything gone. We did not get time to save anything,” a dejected-looking Holder said as he watched the demolition job done on his house by the flood waters. His brother, Kaylon Ahye, who lived next door in the same yard, also suffered losses, including damage to his car, which broke down the fence to the house as it was pushed down the street by the water. His entire home was also inundated with mud and debris.


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