Car repairs soar after hail

2015-01-20 00:00

PANEL beaters and glass replacement businesses are doing a brisk trade ­following the vicious hailstorm that pelted Pietermaritzburg last Friday.

The massive hailstones left many cars damaged in their wake. As the storm rained golfball-sized hailstones, vehicle owners caught unawares had no time to move their cars to safety as the hail wreaked havoc on the Pietermaritzburg streets in a matter of minutes.

PG Glass sales representative ­Kurshan Rajah said they had over 20 cars come in with broken windscreens and back windows from the hailstorm.

“We are still busy fixing cars from the hailstorm on Friday. We had a ­Mercedes come in with its back windscreen shattered on the back seat in a million pieces,” said Rajah.

Commercial Panel Beaters manager Leroy Donnelly said they had over 40 cars come in for quotes and all were damaged in the hailstorm.

“The areas that seem to have been hit the hardest were Scottsville, ­Hayfields and Pelham. They felt the brunt of the storm and there was a lot of damage to cars from those areas,” said Donnelly.

Bruce’s Panel Shop also had quite a busy time after the storm.

Manager Quinton Govender said they had “way over 20” vehicles come in with big dents. Govender said although some of the damage had been quite bad, it was nothing irreparable.

Pietermaritzburg local Claire ­Keyworth said she was travelling on the N3 towards Durban just before 5 pm when the storm struck.

“Some vehicles stopped under a bridge in front of me, blocking the road so the rest of us couldn’t drive past.

“I was stationary in the hail for ­almost 10 minutes. I have visible dents all over my bonnet and roof, and two large cracks on my windscreen,” said Keyworth.

Keyworth said she was especially ­upset about the damage as her car was still quite new, and she’d had no choice but to sit in the traffic and listen to the hail beat down on her car.

Another Pietermaritzburg local, Junaid Hamid, was leaving Camps Drift with his family when the storm broke.

“We looked for cover but there was nowhere to go as branches had broken off the trees on the side of the road.

“It was the first time I experienced hail like that and although the storm lasted for five minutes at the most, the damage was quite bad,” said Hamid.

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