'Disruptive snowfalls' forecast for KZN's high areas

2014-06-06 10:59
(Sindisiwe Nkohle, News24 User)

(Sindisiwe Nkohle, News24 User)

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2014-06-06 10:52

Snow has blanketed parts of the Western Cape and KZN. Take a look at some of the best photos of our countries winter wonderland. WATCH

Pietermaritzburg - If you’re in KwaZulu-Natal then you should hold onto your woolly hats - the weather may be a bit icy in places on Friday, The Witness reported.

The SA Weather Services on Thursday issued a warning for “disruptive snowfalls” over the south-western high grounds of KwaZulu-Natal with light snowfalls spreading to Van Reenen’s Pass.

After warnings on Wednesday that Kokstad residents may get snow in their gardens, Kgolofelo Mahlangu, a forecaster at the SAWS bureau in Durban, said snow would probably not reach Kokstad after all.

“It may reach parts of Matatiele.”

Sections of N3TC may be closed

N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) said about one centimetre of snow was expected along Van Reenen’s Pass in the early hours of this morning, and that the risk of ice formation on the road surface was “massive”.

Con Roux, commercial manager of N3TC, said all emergency services, law enforcement agencies, rescue and relief services and disaster management teams in the area have been mobilised and placed on high alert.

“If required, sections of the route may be closed to traffic should conditions become too dangerous and the area deemed inaccessible, in the interests of the safety of the emergency response teams and motorists.”

Salt brine applicators, graders, basic snow-blowers and ploughs have been placed at strategic points along Van Reenen’s Pass to assist with clearing the road surface in the eventuality of snow and the possible formation of black ice, said Roux.

A disaster management team with a fully-equipped mobile emergency unit and soup kitchen has been dispatched to the region, and scouts have been placed at strategic points and rescue teams are on standby to assist should motorists be trapped.

Animal care

Road users can confirm the status of travel conditions with N3TC’s 24-hour Customer Careline at 0800 N3 Help (0800 63 4357) or get real-time traffic updates by following N3TC on Twitter: @N3Route.

The NSPCA appealed to everyone to take special care with regard to animals in the cold.

They said SPCA branches have been asked to be on alert if vehicles transporting animals become snowed in or trapped.

“Supplementary feed must be provided if natural food is unobtainable. Sick, weak or injured animals must be brought under shelter.”

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Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  weather

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