Waterlogged railway tracks and flooded roads obstruct Durban traffic

Stapleton Road, west of Durban, is one of the many roads that closed due to overnight flooding.
Stapleton Road, west of Durban, is one of the many roads that closed due to overnight flooding.
Image: Supplied

Flooded roads and waterlogged railway tracks forced many Durban residents and scholars to stay home on Tuesday morning.

Residents were cautioned to avoid high-risk areas and to be extra vigilant on the roads following the overnight rainfall which lashed most parts of the city.

Early on Tuesday morning, Metrorail announced that railway services were suspended due to all lines being waterlogged. "No trains will be running until further notice," Metrorail said.

Traffic throughout Durban was backed up as several major routes were flooded.

eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede said emergency services were under massive pressure to attend to flood-related emergencies and were further pressurised by "people who are insisting on driving and getting themselves into unsafe situations".

"I urge residents not to enter fast-flowing streams [not] in cars [nor] as pedestrians. Many of our roads are flooded and some of the structures have been damaged. I would like to advise members of the public to stay off the roads [if possible] at this stage," said Gumede.

The following roads in low-lying areas are flooded and residents are urged to use alternative routes:

  • Higgins highway /M1 at Bayview turn-off westbound
  • M4 opposite Inkosi Albert Luthuli where it joins N2 by the old airport
  • N2 Galleria
  • N2 Prospecton
  • Bul-Bul Road Chatsworth Bridge collapsed
  • Clairwood Sirdar road
  • Sarnia road opposite Bellair Saps
  • Mangosuthu Highway in the vicinity of Megacity
  • Somtseu and Stanger road
  • M25 Das Road
  • Stapleton Road is closed
  • M19 before N2 off-ramp is closed

King Shaka International Airport spokesman Colin Naidoo said the heavy rain did not affect the airport's operations, however there were long queues into the airport.

"We have had people stranded and unable to get to the airport. This has led to long queues. However, we have had no major operational delays," he said.

Naidoo advised travellers to contact airlines if they were stuck in traffic and to frequently check online for updates on delays.

Meanwhile the death toll rose on Tuesday morning when a 15-year-old in Wiltshire Road was washed downstream.

"Apparently around 2am this morning, two children were washed downstream by the mudslide and downpour. The community managed to save the two children, however the third young lady was recovered this morning and unfortunately passed away," Rescue Care spokesperson Garrith Jamieson said.

Earlier rescue teams recovered four bodies - two adults and two children - from a home in Ellen Road, Malvern, which collapsed after a mud slide. They also rescued a woman in her 70s after her home in Overport collapsed. Sadly her son died.

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