Tornado and hailstorms ravage Free State

2010-12-30 00:00

A TORNADO, giant hailstones and heavy rains made up the elements of the storm that ravaged the Free State on Tuesday.

According to Tonie Rossouw of the SA Weather Services in Bloemfontein, strong winds — including tornados — accompanied the storm.

“Especially the Winburg and Dewets­dorp districts experienced the storms,” Rossouw said.

According to Wolla Terblanche of the Kleinfontein farm near Dewetsdorp, a tornado flatteneded two sections of his packing sheds, lifted his caravan into the air and dropped it 60 metres from where it was parked.

A large section of his abattoir’s roof was also damaged by giant hailstones, which broke all the windows on the southern side of his home.

The strong winds that blew into the window-less rooms also caused a lot of damage.

The hail “basically destroyed” Chris Krause’s car on the De Aap farm outside Brandfort.

Krause and his wife were travelling from Johannesburg when the hail came down about 15 km outside Winburg on the road to Brandfort.

“My motor is basically destroyed. The only things left on it are the headlights. The back window is broken and the windscreen has millions of cracks.

“The rest of the car is full of dents where the hail hit it,” he said.

The Weather Services warned that the heavy storms will continue over the Free State for the remainder of the week.

“We are experiencing very high temperatures and the air is unstable, which is why we cannot exclude the possibility of thunderstorms and hail storms for the rest of the week,” said Rossouw.

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