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.
Sadly after fire appeared to have completely died down with Saturdays rain it has flared up again is in the mountains towards Mc Gregor. At first yesterday afternoon it was just a single spot but by late afternoon had spread again. With all the resources at hand one would have thought that it this could have been prevented.
Just before six last night the first few drops of rain fell putting out the fire which has kept a vast amount of firefighting assets occupied since Wednesday out. The rain was no more than a few mm, but as luck would have it, it seems to have been just enough.
With the rain there was a noticeable drop in temperature as a very late cold front had just enough go to get the job done. It is noticeable this morning that some firefighters seemed to have left during the night although the odd vehicle is still in the area. No doubt making a final inspection.
Once again, the residents of Greyton showed their appreciation with large amounts of food and drinks being donated. This was co ordinate via a single drop off point at the Moravian Hall. This seemed to have worked well and residents can keep this in mind for the next time. Sadly, with changing weather patterns and hotter summers a next time is almost guaranteed.
Without warning and out of the blue just after 16h00 on Wednesday the gorge caught alight and has left most of the Greyton Mountains charred. Reports have been surfacing since the start of several youths leaving the scene at speed as the fire started to take hold. SAPS and the Overberg fire chief are investigating and several communications to the effect have been made by regional services.
Sadly, we tend to forget that other living things as affected. For example, in the picture attached the local baboons have lost thousands of ha use as a source of food and shelter. This will no doubt force them later in the season into Greyton again as competition for resources increases.
Mountain residents look on at their home just turned to ashes.
On the good news front winds remain light and fire fighting efforts continue making some progress this Friday morning.
VIDEO OF THE FIRE>
Kids art underway with plenty of professional help at hand.
November is turning out to be a very wet month indeed. In fact, the average for this time of year is 44mm and we have already received between 90 and 115mm depending where you live in town. Of course this is going to be fantastic for the gardens and grantee the Lei Water until well into the new year.
Sadly a fair portion of this rain seems to have arrived yesterday, the Saturday of the Art Walk. In spite of this Art Centers 1 & 2 were very well patronized all day. Of especial note was the Kids Art exhibition and open painting session feature adove. All supplies were supplied by the Artwalk and there was plenty of professional help on hand to help our budding artist
Douglas Legg from Pam Golding being interviewed by Rudi Massyn of GAW
On the sales front officials reported just before the close yesterday that sales are substantially up on last year. Not surprising since the Greyton Artwalk is unique offering artists and the public an event to interact without hefty commissions. The rain has stopped and so far, this morning there have been brief glimpses of sun. So, things are definitely looking up.
Greyton is ready and waiting with much anticipation for next weekends Art Festival. This year a new format with many of last year’s favorites are standing by to dazzle. Plenty for the whole family is on the go. The art walk allows you to meander around town visiting artists in their studios and at the main display site interspersed with our 10 restaurants and many shops.
The start and finish to the art walk will again take place from the main display center at the DRC hall near the tennis courts. There will be over 500 works from 50 artist on display and you know that all the money goes to the artist no middle men, no commissions. There will also be LIVE demo’s on Saturday at the Art Center 1 if you are looking to see how the professionals do it or just touch up on the latest techniques.
For the kids there is even more this year with over 200 works on show. Prizes for different age categories are on the go and judging is by some of our local award winners. Don’t forget to be at the Art for Kids from 10-1200 on Saturday at ART Center 2. All paint and equipment will be supplied by GAW.
For more info please contact Chris on 0824954019 or Rethea on 0712256163.
Miss Greyton Rose Festival 2019 and her 1st Princess.
The timing could not have been better with rain yesterday and rain tomorrow Greyton Rose Festival 2019 escaped by a hair! The festival was started again this year by a parade, headed by a fine old lady transporting the miss rosebuds. It was followed closely by miss Rose Fair and her first princess in the picture above.
This fine old lady headed the parade and conveyed Miss Rose Bud and her two princess. It was piloted by its owner Hubertus Sauma Jeltsch from Vigne Lane.
The rain from yesterday has left Greyton spit and polished for all of todays activities. Gardens around town are open from 1000 – 1600 and there plenty of interested lookers.
17th of October was the official book launch of The Landy Life. A book written by Greyton swallow, Martin Smithson, a well-known resident. The launch was held at 1854 Restaurant and was well supported by locals and visitors alike. The author was on hand to sign books and give everyone an outline of his extensive travels over the last 40 years.
The book is about his love for land rovers and considerable travels across Africa. If you have a get up and go anywhere appreciation of travel then this humorous book is for you. Valuable insights on the do’s and don’ts of travel across the continent can be gleamed from this informative and entertaining book.
If you are looking get hold of a copy in SA you can contact Morne on 082 929 0938 or if you are outside SA email the author firstname.lastname@example.org.
A suspect in the brutal attack of two Greyton residents made a brief appearance in the Caledon Magistrates court today. The attacks left both women hospitalized, one remains in a coma. It seems that these attacks have touched a nerve and caused a very strong response from all members of the community. Most protesters featured above traveled from Greyton to Caledon to make their feelings known.
The protesters mostly Greytonians, joined forces to protest against his bail application. The attacks took place at their own homes and both within a week. The accused attended court, but withdrew his bail application and will appear again on the 18th September 2019. The protesters also gathered a petition which exceeded 4,500 signatures. It obviously went viral, and touched so many. Let’s hope it’s never needed again.
Falling tree at the top of main road ended up in the dining room.
Last night just after 20h30 an intense weather phenomenon struck end of Main Road and lower Vlei Street. This single event was very short lived and very localized. It seems to have struck the area with all the subtlety of brick through your patio window. While the rest of Greyton received and good amount of mainly wind it was nowhere near the scale of the localized event.
First contact, seems that this is where touch down first happened before moving to the main road.
Many trees were uprooted and several very old oaks were completely destroyed. Several properties were damaged in this extreme wind, but luckily no injuries were reported. Amongst the damage were several vehicles that had all their windows smashed by flying debris. Residents in the area reported that the direction seemed to come from ENE as opposed to the usual north westerly direction.
This is a roof sheet from the house in the next picture two houses away. Roof sheet is bent around the tree indicating very high speed of 100kmh.
TWK was on the scene at first light this morning with several teams to clear blocked roads. Ryn Alsman of Twk informed me that they had been busy most of the night clearing roads and structures before moving onto Greyton.
Tree down and roof damaged close to the site of touch down.