Accidents galore as weather turns

2012-08-09 00:00

DURBAN received a soaking, but escaped the worst of the cold weather that has dumped snow in parts of the country and brought misery to many.

By midday yesterday the sun had emerged, although the air was still considered chilly for the coastal city. Residents woke to morning temperatures of 10ºC, which warmed slightly during the day as clouds lifted.

Despite the heavy rains — the SA Weather Service said 60 mm fell in Durban on Tuesday and another 35 mm yesterday — major incidents were few and far between on the city’s roads.

Metro police spokesperson Eugene Msomi said the usual spike in minor fender benders occurred because of the treacherous conditions, but no fatalities were reported. “There were a lot of accidents and two road closures due to flooding,” he said.

By 4 pm yesterday, the two locations — the intersection of Bellair and Francois roads in Cato Manor, as well as Snell Parade on the beachfront near Pavilion Hotel — were still under water. Msomi said city engineers were working to clear the roads.

ER24 paramedics had their hands full dealing with the spate of accidents, attending seven different scenes before 8 am.

Spokesperson Derrick Banks said their staff treated more than 10 people for minor injuries.

“Paramedics dealt with minor accidents and helped people who were able to drive their vehicles away or were not injured,” said Banks.

More torrential downpours hit the South Coast. By 8 am yesterday, Paddock had recorded 147 mm in 24 hours, while Pennington was deluged with 102 mm.

SA Weather forecaster Jan Vermeulen said there was a brighter outlook for Durban today. “There is no rain forecast,” he said.

Rough seas from Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape to Durban were expected last night, Vermeulen added.

Meanwhile, sport was cancelled at some schools because of flooded fields. Amber Schlebusch (11), a grade 5 pupil at Glenwood Preparatory, said their hockey was called off yesterday. “The fields were flooded and it was freezing.”

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