Strong winds wreak havoc in Midlands, and more are on the way

2015-06-04 13:56
Naturezone owner Peter Foulis inspects the damage to his offices yesterday as strong winds ripped the roof from the building.

Naturezone owner Peter Foulis inspects the damage to his offices yesterday as strong winds ripped the roof from the building. (Jonathan Burton)

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STRONG winds ravaged the Midlands yesterday, uprooting large trees and ripping through roof tops, causing damage to businesses on the Meander.

The low-pressure system which wreaked havoc in Cape Town yesterday is making its way up the east coast, bringing with it strong winds that many had experienced in the city ­yesterday.

Suffering most were businesses along the Meander outside Howick, where large trees and telephone poles were uprooted and steel roof sheeting peeled off.

Customers enjoying their morning coffee at the Piggly Wiggly restaurant were flabbergasted when a huge tree, more than 20 metres long, fell and crushed one of the buildings on the premises.

Piggly Wiggly owner Rudi Kassier said they were very fortunate that nobody was injured.

“The tree fell on the pyjama shop and the corner of the coffee shop’s kitchen area. We are fortunate it fell where it did and did not cause extensive damage,” Kassier said.

One customer, who asked not to be named, said she was driving into Piggly Wiggly when she heard a loud cracking noise followed by a “loud bang”.

“The entire tree just came tumbling down in a second. I have never seen anything like it before. The winds were so strong I had to hold my shirt down and close my eyes,” the customer laughed.

Naturezone, a drinks manufacturer in the Caversham area just outside Lidgetton, had its steel roof sheeting blown off, with a few pieces crashing onto a manager’s car.

Naturezone owner Peter Foulis said he was at Piggly Wiggly when he got a call from one of his employees.

“She heard a hell of a bang and the roof sheeting fell on her brand new car. This is the worst wind I’ve seen in a long time,” Foulis said.

There had also been other reports of electricity poles falling in the same areas.

South African Weather Service forecaster Aslam Sardiwalla said the winds could be attributed to a deep low-pressure system making its way up the coast. “We have had many reports of strong gusts in the KZN inland area, stronger than what we normally see,” Sardiwalla said

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