Ferocious storm brings no Christmas cheer to Midmar and Howick

2012-12-27 00:00

A FEROCIOUS storm on Christmas Eve wrecked the day for people camping at Midmar Dam.

Camper Burger Nel said he saw the storm destroy a site about 300 metres away.

“After an hour, we decided to go there. We got there and we found that a lot of tents had been blown over and been flattened by trees.

“Everything got blown away and there were trees lying all over the place, and a caravan was damaged. A lot of people left their stuff there and just got in their cars and left.

“One of our tents also gave in, but we were sheltered, so we weren’t badly affected.”

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesperson Musa Mntambo was unable to confirm yesterday whether Midmar had suffered any damage. Ezemvelo manages the Midmar site.

uMngeni Municipality spokesperson Mbali Mwandla said they had received some reports of damage at Midmar, but without a full briefing from the resort manager, she said the extent of the damage could not be determined.

In nearby Howick, a “river of mud” washed down Eridene Road after the heavy rainfall.

“There was tremendous rainfall from about 2.30 pm to 6 pm. Stones came rushing down the road and caused a lot of damage,” said Howick resident Richard Daniels.

“I wasn’t directly affected, but I did watch a river of mud flow down the road. It happens without fail every single time there is a major storm.”

He said rocks up to 15 cm in diameter rolled down the road.

Another resident, Peter Wilmsen, blamed an “illegal” storm water drain at a residential development at the top of the road, saying it caused water to “dig under the tarmac”.

“It’s pulling out the whole road,” he said. He added that their complaints to the municipality and the developer had fallen on deaf ears.

“This is not going to get better. The next rainy season should wash the road away completely.”

Asked about the problems in Eridene Road, Mwandla said they would only comment once the general manager for technical services had fully investigated the matter.

SA Weather Services could not yet confirm how much rain fell during Monday’s storm.

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