Welcome rains deluge Dalton and leave district without power

2015-12-14 10:30
A house in Dalton damaged by a split tree after the storm on Saturday night.

A house in Dalton damaged by a split tree after the storm on Saturday night. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - A severe storm struck Cool Air, Dalton and surrounding towns on Saturday afternoon, uprooting massive trees, damaging power lines, lifting roofs and leaving residents without electricity since then.

Angie Marimuthoo, a resident of Cool Air, said that around 4 pm on Saturday the weather changed drastically when dark clouds engulfed the sky, followed by bursts of lightning and thunder, coupled with heavy rainfall, and hail and strong wind.

“It was like a scene from a movie — the heavy rain, howling wind and the hail was huge. It was scary. I’ve never witnessed anything like that before,” she said.

Another resident, Rani Krishna, said: “Trees are uprooted, roofs have flown away”. She added the area has been without electricity from Saturday night.

“Whenever there’s a storm we expect electricity cuts. It happens all the time, even when the storm isn’t as severe as Saturday’s storm,” said Marimuthoo, who added that she receives messages from Eskom whenever there are electricity cuts and the last message from Eskom stated there was a problem with a line that was being attended to.

Mduduzi Nxumalo, disaster management officer of the uMshwathi municipality, told The Witness that the situation regarding electricty is beyond their control, but they are “working around the clock to bring the situation back to normality”.

“About 200 families from four wards have been affected. Their houses are destroyed and they are staying in the community hall.

“We are working with the resources we have to assist however we can. Some materials are still to come and we are running out of blankets. We are working around the clock to take care of the people,” he added.

Local police said that no major incidents had been reported due to the storm, but they were aware of damage to property.

Maya Ramiah was one of the residents who experienced damage to her property. “Lots of [rain] water came through windows and doors, roof boards and roof tiles are broken, roof tiles have fallen or moved. The rain was so severe,” said Ramiah.

Matthew Joubert said there was also no cell phone signal and he had to drive off the farm to get reception.

• arts@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  weather

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