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January 2013 Rains/Floods in Kruger

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Scipio
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Re: January 2013 Rains/Floods in Kruger

Unread post by Scipio » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:11 pm

Ifubesi wrote:What is happening now is exactly what scientists predicted would happen to the North-Eastern corner of SA due to climate change: Increasing frequency of extreme droughts and floods. The scary thing is that this was expected to happen over a couple of decades. Seems as though the climate is changing quicker than expected.

Average time lapse between large floods in the lowveld: +-80 years;
Recent history: 3 large floods in 13 years :(


Although I do agree, and support science Ifubesi, I have a bit of a giggle at the scientists. I can remember when they talked of "El Nino" and when that did not happen they called it "El Nina". :lol: In the old days, they called it "El Droogte" and "El Moerse reen" :lol: :lol:

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Re: January 2013 Rains/Floods in Kruger

Unread post by DinkyBird » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:23 pm

Thanks again to Jaco V for these pics just in of Letaba, the high water bridge and the river:

According to Jaco, the river has subsided, the bridge has been cleared and is open again, and there is even choc milkshake available ;)

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LetabaD by dinkybird, on Flickr

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LetabaC by dinkybird, on Flickr

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LetabaB by dinkybird, on Flickr

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letabaA by dinkybird, on Flickr
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Re: January 2013 Rains/Floods in Kruger

Unread post by DuQues » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:15 pm

A post Joep made on his own page. He does not mention who made the photos, so I can't give due.

Shingwedzi huts in bygone times:
Image

And now this, but first his text:
Today is a particularly historic day in the history of Shingwedzi Camp in that it was completely engulfed by floodwater of the swollen Shingwedzi River. It is great that many lives were saved today when employees were rescued from the lofts of these historic buildings and others out of trees. Well done to those heros and all others involved! I hope that these old huts will be able to be fully restored.

And they will need restoring:

Image

When I asked him if the flooding is worse than last year he replied this:
Duco, it was at the restaurant on 24 February 2000 and has never gone into the camp before.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

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Re: January 2013 Rains/Floods in Kruger

Unread post by Goggo EJ » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:18 pm

The power in the rivers has to be seen to be believed! We have abandoned the rest of our trip and returned to Malelane area. Seems we missed the worst of everything......slipped through the main road Punda to Shingwedzi on the day it was open again, and got ahead of the closures etc further south too. The Letaba bridge looked close to overflowing when we crossed it......and it did next day. Will try to post some photos when connection and time allow.

I still vividly remember last year at Lower Sabie......
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Re: January 2013 Rains/Floods in Kruger

Unread post by Riverrat » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:22 pm

I believe a lot of the gossip and drama discussion of camp destruction etc is over-rated. Most of the water is flowing down existing natural water courses and just a natural phenomenon which has happened frequently over the last 100 years of the park's existence.

Some of the pictures look really dramatic because we are not used to these sights. The turbulence and debris washing downstream is certainly spectacular, but completely natural. Even those animals that are foolish enough not to seek higher ground die a natural death: this is part of nature's evolutionary process of survival and selection of the fittest, strongest, and most adaptable genes.

Most of the water washing into the camps is slow flowing, or just seeping, and this might damage timber floors doors or walls, but most structures are constructed solidly and high enough to withstand bad weather. (Letaba suffered extensive flooding last year up to a metre deep, and was functional again very shortly afterwards)

Even most of the bridges and low-level crossings will survive the water-flow..in the case of the lighter bridges the approach and depart-slopes get washed away and they take time to pack new wire-and-rock 'casons' and resurface. but essentially the water flows over the structures. On the bigger bridges like Letaba H1-6 they are robust and only the lightly-fitted armco and handrails get bent off by big logs washed down in the flow: the engineered structures are solid.

Low-level crossings like the exit from Tamboti are probably not damaged at all...it was only deep slow-flowing water and unstable road-surface that forced vehicles to be left in camp and made evacuation necessary.

Two traffic oficials have been reported missing in the Komati River bordering the park, but these were unrelated to KNP activities. I have been searching the web extensively and haven't found any other factual evidence of deaths (unless someone else can add a link to facts on this).
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Re: January 2013 Rains/Floods in Kruger

Unread post by Crested Val » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:03 pm

Image

View to the left from Letaba restaurant, this afternoon.

A week ago it was an almost dry riverbed, and on Thursday it was starting to fill up. :thumbs_up:

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Re: January 2013 Rains/Floods in Kruger

Unread post by Oryx » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:15 pm

Just heard from most reliable source that Sirheni dam wall actually broke, which of course added to the force of the water. One can imagine the volume when the Shingwedzi, Phongolo and Pugwane all came together. Once again the power and awesome indifference of the natural system!

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Re: January 2013 Rains/Floods in Kruger

Unread post by johanrebel » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:23 pm

Riverrat wrote:flowing down existing natural water courses and just a natural phenomenon which has happened frequently over the last 100 years of the park's existence.
True, but in the case of the Luvuvhu the Limpopo actually prevents it from flowing. When the former comes down in flood, it forms a barrier as effectiive as a dam wall at the confluence. The Luvuvhu then stops flowing, and the water instead spreads sideways out into the floodplains on either bank. That's why the flooding can be so extensive from what is normally a fairly minor and marginally perennial river.

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Ifubesi
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Re: January 2013 Rains/Floods in Kruger

Unread post by Ifubesi » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:55 am

Does anyone have more photos of the affected camps and regions? I am especially worried about the damage to the riverine forests along the Luvuvu, Shingwedzi and Mhpongolo rivers and of course the Shingwedzi camp.
13 Dec 2012 Pretoriuskop
14-15 Dec 2012 Lower Sabie
16 Dec 2012 Tamboti
17-18 Dec 2012 Satara
19-22 Dec 2012 Shingwedzi
23 Dec 2012 Punda Maria

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Re: January 2013 Rains/Floods in Kruger

Unread post by Rooies » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:59 am

The name of the Kanniedood dam will probably be changed to Kannie-meer-water-vat-nie dam.
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Re: January 2013 Rains/Floods in Kruger

Unread post by DinkyBird » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:58 am

Nicolette wrote:I was in Kruger in December and noticed the railings on the bridge over the Sabie/H12 haven't been repaired yet following last years floods.

Do Kruger spend money on this or on fighting poaching. I believe there are limited funds and now with these floods I am sure they will have to decide what is the most important thing to do
Its fairly complicated. They have budgets and insurance. And I am not totally sure who is responsible for the bridges and/or roads; if it is the park itself, or the province. Will try and find out.
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Re: January 2013 Rains/Floods in Kruger

Unread post by Imberbe » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:20 am

Shingwedzi:

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Re: January 2013 Rains/Floods in Kruger

Unread post by DotDan » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:23 am

Holy hell.. if you don't want to call that damage then I don't know what you are smoking..

To think we would have done a Big Birding weekend there from this Thursday.. :|

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Re: January 2013 Rains/Floods in Kruger

Unread post by Elsa » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:31 am

Wow, can hardly believe what one sees in those pics!
The damage is going to be enormous. :shock:
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Re: January 2013 Rains/Floods in Kruger

Unread post by DinkyBird » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:44 am

I saw a comment on Michelle Van Der Merwe's facebook page (she is Regional Tourism Manager in KNP) that she had not slept all night one of the nights during the floods now. This makes me realise that we at home probably cannot comprehend what goes on in the park at times like this, and how hard the staff and rescue teams do work, and that they probably do not sleep for days. This added to the loss of possessions and homes.
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