Man’s foot crushed while cutting tree

A Kommetjie resident who suffered a toe amputation after a tree crushed it during Wednesday’s storm was the only serious injury reported in the far south.

According to a media release issued by the National Sea Rescue Institute, the man injured his foot while cutting a tree.

“NSRI Kommetjie dispatched the sea rescue vehicle to a local restaurant where an adult male suffered amputation of his left big toe while cutting a fallen tree that had been uprooted during the storm and gale force winds,” the NSRI said. “NSRI medics treated the man on the scene and transported him to hospital in a stable condition.”

Despite the storm being hailed as the worst Cape Town has seen in 30 years, the South Peninsula seemed to have experienced minimal damaged when compared to other areas.

“The beaches and coastal area took a pounding but we are very grateful to have survived with so little damage,” said Felicity Purchase, councillor for Ward 69, and chair of Sub-council 19.

However, several homes in Masiphumelele and Ocean View are damaged, with a backyard wendy house in Ocean View having completely collapsed, said Ward 61 councillor Simon Liell-Cock, whose ward includes Ocean View, Misty Cliffs, Scarborough, Smitswinkelbaai, Simon’s Town, Castle Rock, Kommetjie and Glencairn.

Mr Liell-Cock said the City’s Disaster Risk Management unit was aiding the homeowners with food and blankets.

The storm also damaged the roofs of seven homes in Masiphumelele. Five of the affected homeowners were able to make their own repairs, while the two others are awaiting aid from the City.

“The new regulations require that SASSA (the South African Social Security Agency) verify every potential beneficiary of humanitarian aid and therefore they will stay in the community hall until they have been assisted by the City with building materials,” Ms Purchase said.

Despite Masiphumelele High School’s roof having been damaged, it operated as normal on Thursday, after having been closed along with all other schools in the Western Cape.

“The Department of Education
is doing the necessary assessments and will arrange emergency repairs for the high school,” Ms Purchase said.

The storm also caused several electrical outages in the area, including Red Hill.

“The electricity team worked in the rain until late into the night getting the power back on. (Pat) Francke has been around Red Hill to this residents who have poor quality shacks and we are assisting specific residents whose homes were not weatherproof,” Mr Liell-Cock said.

Several NGOs and government officials assisted the South Peninsula’s residents who were affected.

“We have a very efficient team in the south which includes the roads and electrical depots, Disaster Management volunteers, and NGOs, who all come together to work in any incidents or disasters and I wish to thank them for their unconditional service to all our residents,” Ms Purchase said.

* Vanessa Alva and Thais Ackerman are visiting journalism students from Mercer University in the USA.