Huge hailstorm unleashes its fury on Greytown

2013-12-16 00:00

A VICIOUS hailstorm hit Greytown on Friday late afternoon causing major damage to properties and vehicles.

The hail was followed by a heavy downpour that caused flooding to many houses and business premises. Businesses suffered broken windows and holes in their roofs. The collective damage is estimated to be hundreds of thousands of rand.

On Saturday, glass repair companies were inundated with calls for assistance and panel beaters were also busy organising quotes for vehicles that had received dents in their bodywork.

The hail caused devastation from one end of the town to the other. Summer gardens that had started blooming a week earlier are now in tatters.

June Litterick, Greytown Gazette editor and resident, said, “There was little warning and at 5.30 pm the hail erupted. One of the worst affected was Arcadia, a residential home for the aged, as sheets of water poured inside.

“The Greytown 911 Control unit sent an immediate alert out — and at least 50 Greytonians rushed to help with brooms, mops, towels and blankets. All the residents were kept safe. In some instances, Arcadia staff members protected residents from flying shards of glass with their own bodies.”

Litterick reported that she got a call for help from a disabled person who was stranded in the informal settlement of Lindelani. The Umvoti Disaster management personnel went to rescue the woman, and also provided blankets and food to those worst affected.

Despite the damage to their structures, businesses had to operate as it was a busy retail day on Saturday in the run up to Christmas and they had to record sales manually as computers were damaged, said Litterick.

She said building outlets ran out of glass on Saturday morning as a result of the huge number of windows shattered.

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