Hail and cold kills 1?000 sheep on Free State farm

2014-10-18 00:00

AN hour-long hailstorm battered sheep flocks on farms south of Bloemfontein in the Free State in Thursday’s freak weather.

An icy, 65-km/h gale had on Thursday lashed the districts of Trompsburg and Jagersfontein with an hour-long hailstorm. The severity of the storm saw the backs of several shorn sheep lacerated by small hailstones. Carel Jacobs of the farm Bergpunt lost 1 000 head of sheep in the storm. His son Ben said the value of the sheep is more than R1 million.

Carel said he had not seen the like of the storm in his 50 years of farming.

“We have been carting dead sheep from the veld with a tractor and a wagon all day,” the devastated farmer said.

On the neighbouring farm Hamelfontein, Derek Alexander lost 400 freshly shorn sheep in one camp.

In a desperate attempt to warm up his half-frozen flock, Derek Alexander had gathered ewes around open fires in a barn on the farm Hamelfontein.

Francois Pretorius on the farm Samensuiping in the Trompsburg district said he had lost 35 sheep. “Luckily I could get most of my sheep under a roof and limit the damage.”

Toni Rossouw of the Bloemfontein weather office said the icy wind had gusted at speeds of between 60 to 65 km/h bringing with it heavy rain and hail.

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