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The morning after the floods and fire was filled with stories of lost possessions, death, and survival. Indeed, Accra still bleeds from a wound of this terrible blow from nature. Here is a story to share by one of Ghana’s photographers, Gerard, of an encounter he had with a local who’d fallen victim of the flood.

I went back along the same routes I attempted to get home by to see the aftermath of the floods. As expected, I met people around recounting their experiences from the night before. Along most bridges where cars were stalled, I saw cars in the drain.

I met a man, Ransom, who had retrieved the front of his Toyota Highlander from the next avenue from where his Highlander had docked after being swept into the drain from the previous avenue from where we stood.

According to him, he stepped out to get Dog food. Close to the bridge he stopped and gave a few people a ride across the bridge on the 9th Avenue. One of the men he gave lift to pointed out where potholes were and they avoided them and got to the other side. He dropped them off at their homes, bought the dog food and headed back in what he estimates was about 15 minutes later. There were a few people who stopped to ask him to help them across the bridge. He declined, thinking it was late and that they ought to stay put.

On reaching the bridge, he realized his steering had become soft and he no longer had complete control of his car. The water level had risen significantly. He stopped and started his car again but felt his tires didn’t have traction on the road. A man standing atop an uncompleted building called to him to remain in his vehicle till the water level went down.

A small taxi approached the bridge; he rolled his glasses down and attempted to use his phone light to warn the approaching taxi which didn’t let up its approach so he pushed his car door open thinking he was going to land knee-deep in water. He slumped into the water to find the water midway up his torso.

The taxi evidently noticed him and reversed. He climbed back into his car and realized that he had to abandon his car. So he took his electronic gadgets and money, tied them in a polythene and made his way out of the car. The water current got the best of him; he flung his gadgets and money and doesn’t think they made landfall.

Ransom says he grew up near a water body and is a good swimmer. He had on boots which stifled his efforts. He went under on two occasions to take his boots off. The current was too strong for him however and he found himself clinging to the side of a drain outlet.

The man on top of the uncompleted building drew nearer with a towel and threw one end to him in an attempt to pull him out. The effort was futile and he realized if they kept at it, his Samaritan may end up submerged. He elevated himself and found footing on a plat form near the wall and followed it to the next avenue. He said then that the water was neck high and he found a wall to perch on. The wall stands close to five feet high.

A Mr Paul who had parked on a landing close to the wall Mr. Ransom sat on 8th Avenue had just thrown a roap he had in the bucket of his pickup to save a driver of a Benz bus just before the water current swept the bus away to the 7th Avenue. According to Ransom, the bus seemed to have stalled a lot of the current thus, as soon as the bus was lifted into the drain the water current increased in speed. Soon after, his Highlander came to dock by the side of the bridge.

There was a taxi also in the drain near the Greda Estate Washing Bay on 3rd Avenue. According to bystanders, the taxi attempted to speed across the bridge and was parried and swept. A passenger in the car clung to some palm fronds and was rescued by bystanders. The boys from the washing bay rescued the driver when the car docked by cement structure beneath the bridge.

Not too far from there on 6th avenue a capsized Kia was found in the drain. It is said the occupants got out in time. At the bridge near A life was a deep purple Santa Fe said to have been swept from some other place. I was told the bodies had been removed just before I got there.

Take a look.

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