Is 2020 going to be the year of storms or the new norm? Well having lived here for 22 years I have never so many damaging storms. In the photo above the power line in Von Solms took a direct hit from this falling black wood that must be 40 years old. The pole was smashed in pieces like a cheap set of chop sticks.
Last time the storm damage seemed confined to upper main road this time bottom of High Street and Von Solms seems to have been fairly in its sights. In the photo above cottage roof off and steel gate torn down indicating extremely local events.
Another big tree in main road down. The number of oak trees in the main road has been halved in the past two years. Power is only due back tomorrow some time if we are lucky.
The outlook for Greyton is getting brighter with the instillation of fiber. Steadily over the past three months you would have noticed this hard-working crew in and around town laying the cables. I have especially noticed it on the way to Riviersondereind and back towards the N2. It seems that the cable has been laid in a loop.
With this and recent changes in peoples working habits things are looking up. No doubt as soon as we are online and genie is out many works from home types won’t be able to resist the pull of the country. There just isn’t the need to fight the traffic and crowds anymore. In fact, other town’s in the Overberg are also now receiving a notable increase in interest. The laying of the main cables will be completed by the end of the August and we would hope that the first connections would be done shortly thereafter.
A term on the lips of some locals is that of a cyber village and with several online business operating already from Greyton more are set to arrive shortly. In the past operators have made use of wireless internet which got the job done but wasn’t ideal. These businesses are also starting to provide much needed employment opportunities in the area.
The famous Greyton market has re opened today amongst strict safety protocols. The market was roped off with safety tape and you could only enter or leave from a single manned sanitization station.
It was evident that many of the normal stall holders were not in place due to distancing requirements and also a slow reopening strategy. This is however a positive start for Greyton and its stall holders. The weather was also unseasonably warm and it could have been a pleasant late autumn day. Unfortunately this will not last with a moderate cold front arriving later tonight and the temperatures will resume their normal lows tomorrow and Monday. So enjoy while you can!
Narrow escape for Jimmy’s Bakkie that is usually in front of the garage.
The past two days has seen cold, very windy and wet conditions hit the Western Cape. In the picture above a large oak tree came down where Jimmy Moolman’s bakkie usual stands. In a strange bit of luck the bakkie was in Caledon. Wow! Had it not have been for that then it would have gone from a bakkie to a pan cake in 2 seconds.
Stodart Tree Fellers from Cape Town
Featured above the clearing team from Stodart Tree Fellers . They are contracted to cut and clear the damage around Greyton by TWK. They and their orange truck are visible after most storms doing the heavy lifting. The Stodart family are one of the original Greyton families and still have a house in the main road.
Good snow fall will be great for the ground water and lei water this year. The local farms are also over the moon and dams are filling nicely across the province. Cold and clear conditions can be expected over the weekend. Bring your livestock in.
Sadly it would seem that after several cases were reported in Genadendal that it has now spread to the police station. This just goes to show that our first responders are firmly on the front line and require all members of the public to observe all current safety measures.
The station is being cleaned and will open hopefully on the evening of the 22nd of May 2020. SAPS service will be operated from Greyton station while Genadendal is temporarily closed. In order to contact SAPS please call 0731600737 today and tomorrow morning and thereafter 084 8174053. Thereafter normal numbers will resume.
SAPS members taking a statement with suspects secure in the van.
This afternoon at approximately 1525 a resident of Vlei Street was surprised on her return from the shops by 2 attackers. They pushed her to the ground and dragged her around before making off with her purse. SAPS and Greyton security were immediately notified and they followed up in the direction the suspects had fled. Unluckily for the suspects, Greyton baboon monitors supervised by Andrew White had noticed them hiding near the entrance to the reserve. He was able to direct Aps to their position and the suspects were arrested by SAPS still in possession of stolen items.
It should be noted that quick thinking by Victor of APS ensured that the suspects were dislodged from their mountain hiding position. The resident was able to identify one of the suspects and a case has been opened. Fortunately, the resident only received minor injuries and some of the items stolen were recovered.
A well deserved congratulations to all members who assisted in the speedy apprehension of the suspects.
Today seems to the quietest day in town, it is in no short measure probably because of the rain and the cold weather. This morning these photos were taken between 8 & 9. Usually the streets would be much busier with trucks, workmen and residents going about their business.
This is however a good sign today as it shows that residents and business are complying with the order that if not obey is a criminal offense that could lead to a fine or imprisonment. Unconfirmed initial reports at the beginning of the lock down had some residents taking a chance. But this seems to have come to an end.
As we have just passed the halfway mark there is still a fair way to go. National figures of Covid 19 still are increasing on average of 6% per day meaning that the number of nationally infected could double every 10 days. Fortunately, at the time of writing this article the number of confirmed Covid 19 cases in the Overberg is 0.
Just after lunch yesterday reports started to emerge of the water turning muddy brown and by 5pm it was all over town. Apparently they had sucked a whole lot of mud and other nasties from the river and pumped it into the main storage tank and then it ran into the whole system.
Residents are very angry and situation is not that much better today. Here is a statement form the municipality.
WATER SITUATION: The Wolwekloof supply is currently very brown. It has therefore been switched off, the dam was emptied & TWK are now filling it with borehole & Gobos water.
Greyton’s water is supplied from 3 reservoirs. Due to the situation, currently only one is being used. The other two will be flushed today.
A team will also be going out to check what the issue with Wolwekloof is. They will be “bleeding the system” which means they will open up the hydrants & let the water run out to try & clear it.
We have confirmed with TWK that the water is safe to drink.
The past week has seen a little Christmas magic. Well a little after all the holidays to be exact but Greyton and the surrounding area could not have wished for more. Soft soaking rain has refilled the dams and rivers and its going to be an unseasonably green February.
For years the dams on the way to Caledon have been almost dry and now they are full. Throughout the area rainfall seems to have varied considerably with the most being 278 mm recorded at Rusty Gate farm near Helderstroom by Bokkie Fourie. Greyton had a much more modest but never the less still impressive 180mm in the same period. Farms towards Riviersondend recorded 120- 140mm so it seems that there was definitely more up this end.
Most of the rain in Greyton was light but over a long period allowing it to soak in rather than just run off. Most residents were caught off guard by the extend of the rain as forecasts have in the past been notoriously inaccurate. That being said more is forecast for Sunday.
This afternoon in one of the worst firestorms Greyton has seen in years several houses at the end of main road narrowly escaped completed destruction. In fact several did catch on fire in the high winds and catastrophic conditions and had it not been for some exceptional flying by Pilot Mike Bothma in his little yellow machine water bombing the already burning properties things could have ended very differently.
In fact fire services were stretched to breaking point and had do dash between three fronts. High winds from multiple directions complicated an already very difficult situation. As it now stands much of the Greyton Mountains are completely burned and only a small section remains.
WOW A REAL FIRE POOL CHECK THIS OUT: Click for Video
In Mike’s words on the Pool Run.
Fire approaches end of Vlei Street
Fire crews in action at the top of main road.
Mike makes a another dash to a burning house at the top of main road.
Fire jumped the river and threatened Vlei Street Houses.