White winter wonder

2011-07-26 00:00

MOST KwaZulu-Natal residents had a taste of what winter feels like at its very coldest yesterday.

The strong cold front over KwaZulu-Natal brought not only single-digit temperatures and unseasonal rain, but also wide-spread snow that left residents frozen, yet in many cases delighted.

Most parts of high ground in KwaZulu-Natal were covered with snow yesterday, especially areas around Underberg and the southern Drakensberg.

According to the Weather SA forecaster Wisani Maluleke, there will be heavier falls of snow in areas such as Underberg, Kokstad, Matatiele and parts of the Eastern Cape again today.

Even though it was freezing cold with driving rain, the snow seemed to warm up the spirits of many people The Witness spoke to.

Lynette Bruni (64) of Sangwana Crescent in Underberg described the snowfall as “beautiful”.

She told The Witness that she and her husband did not feel the 3º Celsius cold because they were snuggled up next to the fireplace and admiring the snowflakes through their window.

“The last time we had a heavy snowfall was four years ago. We woke up in the morning and the snow had packed up to 18 inches and I hope that we can have that again.”

Bruni said she kept her 15-year-old dog inside because “we can’t let him freeze outside”.

An employee at the Sani Pass Hotel and Leisure Resort, Lindelani Mazeka, took time out from work to enjoy the snow.

“It felt like Christmas in New York. Everything is so white here. I enjoyed gliding on the snow and didn’t even feel the cold,” Mazeka said.

Mary-Anne Holt, secretary of Underberg Primary School, said, “The kids love the thick snow. It’s a delightful sight, seeing all the kids running around with their hands in the air attempting to catch the snowflakes.”

Most visitors at Underberg and Drakensberg resorts and hotels snapped pictures that will definitely go on to Facebook.

KZN Transport Department spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu said there were no accidents due to the snow, but the roads were very slippery and under surveillance by a heavy police presence.

“There were minor glitches and we issued warnings in areas such as the P609 and R617 in Kokstad, the southern side of Underberg and the N3 at Brooks Nek because of the snow in the area.”

Said Daphne Coetzee of Ladysmith, a guest at Himeville Arms Hotel in the Drakensberg, “It is a wonderful experience getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city life and bring the children to see the snow for the first time. My daughter’s wish for a white Christmas in July came true.”

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