Storm wreaks havoc

2014-10-14 00:00

A STORM left death and destruction in its wake on Saturday and Sunday, killing 13 herons on a Winterton farm.

Farm owner Hendrik Goosen said the herons had lived in the pine trees surrounding the farm since he moved to the area two years ago.

“It was not a nice feeling. They have been here since we got the farm two years ago. They nested high up in the pine trees. They were no match for the storm,” said Goosen.

Winterton Farmers Association chairman Terry Muirhead said the storm ruined wheat crops on some farms and a few buildings in the area were damaged.

“There was rain and strong wind with golf ball-sized hailstones.

“There was damage to a few farmers’ wheat crops and the windows were broken at the local school,” said Muirhead.

Winterton pecan nut farmer Hesté Outram said the storm came suddenly.

“The wind was strong and it was hailing. It was a sudden storm; one minute it was fine and the next minute there was a storm. It got quite savage,” said Outram.

Disaster Management spokesperson Mjumju Ndladla said there had been serious damage from Saturday’s storm in several areas. “An electricity pole fell down in the storm and the wire fell down across a few houses, shocking nine people,” said Ndladla.

He said no one had died in the storm, but nine houses in the Imbabazane municipal area had been completely destroyed while 100 other houses were damaged.

Emergency medical services spokesperson Robert McKenzie said a woman and four children were severely injured in Saturday’s storm.

“It was a combination of lightning striking the house, debris falling from the roof and the ensuing fire, which completely gutted the small house,” he said.

Ndladla said the disaster management team had spent most of yesterday assessing damage, handing out food parcels, tents and blankets to the affected communities.

Sunday’s storm caused extensive damage to Joshua Doore’s Estcourt outlet when the entire roof was blown off the store.

Branch manager Fatima Kader said the staff had salvaged the contents of the two-storey outlet.

“Our business was not at all affected, I wouldn’t let it be affected,” said Kader with a laugh.

She said the roof would have to be replaced eventually, but they had temporarily covered the gaping hole.

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