Rain, gales lash KZN

2009-11-20 00:00

YESTERDAY’S torrential rains and gale-force winds wreaked havoc in many parts of the province, leaving a trail of accidents that claimed the lives of four people and left a number of others critically injured.

In Lincoln Meade, the body of a man was found near the Msunduzi River. Police said he is thought to have drowned while trying to cross the river.

Roofs were blown off houses, trees uprooted, and a home in Tumbleweed settlement near Howick was destroyed.

Roads on the south coast were closed after they were flooded.

On the N3 near Hilton, a woman was killed and a man critically injured when their cars collided.

Derrick Banks of ER24 said a bakkie driver lost control and slammed through the median before hitting the car, which was coming from Pietermaritzburg. The woman was killed on impact.

A head-on-collision between a minibus taxi and a bakkie on the M4 Ruth First Freeway near Boystown left the bakkie driver dead and the taxi driver in a critical condition.

In Port Shepstone, a vehicle was swept away by floods on the P200. The driver’s body was recovered near St Michael On Sea yesterday afternoon.

The weather delayed several flights at Durban International Airport, while others had to be diverted due to poor visibility.

Transport Department spokesman Bheki Ncube said a number of roads on the coast had to be closed because of flooding, flooded bridges and fallen trees.

John Gutridge of the Msunduzi Municipality disaster management unit said they had responded to calls in nine areas where homes were affected by the rain and wind, but there were no serious incidents.

“About 50 people from these areas will get help in the form of blankets for those whose roofs were completely blown away, and plastic for those houses that were partially damaged” Gutridge said, adding that they are still doing assessment in other areas.

Ntobeko Nkangane of the Durban weather bureau said yesterday that Pietermaritzburg had a recorded 18 mm of rain, while Durban had 22, Port Edward 39, Paddock 115, and Margate 120.

The bureau sent out a e-mail responding to rumours that a tropical cyclone was about to hit KZN. It said there is no “Cyclone Roberto” off Madagascar, but a coastal low is bringing the rain.

The rain will ease in most parts today, and it will be partly cloudy and warm tomorrow.


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