The persistent rains over the last few weeks have been tough on most of us – some more than others. Residents have discovered many gaps in their houses where water drips in; farmers have watched as their vegetables rot in the ground and motorists have been stuck in the mud. Shops that struggled to keep their shelves stocked during the truckers’ strike did not have time to recover properly before the rains came and washed away the roads making it impossible to deliver goods until at least some of the roads are repaired.
The rains have however, been particularly harsh on the many workers who have had to deal directly with the consequences of the unusual weather. Emergency medical services and disaster management personnel have been kept busy for days attending to the spate of vehicle accidents in and around Makana. There have been dozens of fender benders and a few serious accidents like the one on the N2 when emergency workers had to tramp through a dark rainy night where a large embankment had just collapsed to retrieve their rescue equipment.
Traffic officers have had to rush out to accident scenes and divert vehicles away from dangerous roads, while crews have worked valiantly to repair some of the more serious holes in the roads in an effort to avoid accidents. If residents complained about potholes before, we can only imagine how loud they will be now.
The main highway between Grahamstown and the rest of the world – the N2 to Port Elizabeth – was severed late on Saturday afternoon when a huge chunk of the road was washed away. This means that life is going to become uncomfortable for the next few months. An official was quoted as saying that repairs could take up to three months.
This means that we are all going to have to become a little more tolerant of each other as we wait longer for bread and other food stuffs to arrive and we get frustrated as our favourite shops run out of supplies.
As we complete the last few pages of this edition of italGrocott’s Mail/ital, we are not sure if there will be delays in getting our newspapers delivered from our printers in Port Elizabeth. So if this paper got to you a little later than usual, please understand the circumstances.