Snow, winds and heavy weather bashes KwaZulu-Natal

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Specialised graders had to be used to clear snow blocked roads in between Underberg and Kokstad.
Specialised graders had to be used to clear snow blocked roads in between Underberg and Kokstad.

Since the beginning of this week, five houses have collapsed in Nquthu as a result of heavy snow that struck the area, said the KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta).

As the mountainous areas of the province dealt with snow, other parts were dealing with icy temperatures, rain and gale force winds.

Meanwhile, along the R617 from Underberg to Kokstad, everything came to a standstill on Wednesday when the road was covered with snow.

Road Traffic Inspectorate spokesperson, Zinhle Mali, told The Witness, “It was chaotic for a few hours, no one could move. We had to call specialised graders to clear the snow-blocked roads. Some people ended up not going to work because it took hours to clear. The road is now clear and it is only drizzling in Kokstad and Underberg right now,” she said on Thursday.

Snow between Underberg and Kokstad yesterday.PHOTO: FACEBOOK
The R617 between Underberg and Kokstad was temporarily yesterday.PHOTO: FACEBOOK

In a statement on Thursday the MEC for Cogta Sipho Hlomuka assured KZN residents that disaster management teams continue to be on high alert in anticipation of heavy rains that are expected in areas along the coast of the province.

According to the latest advisory received by the department from the South African Weather Service, heavy rains can be expected in the Ugu, Ilembe, Ethekwini, Umgungundlovu, King Cetshwayo and the Harry Gwala District.

According to the Weather Service. “The impact of the disruptive rainfall is expected to result in flooding of roads and settlements (Formal and informal), danger to life (fast-flowing streams/deep waters), major disruption of traffic flow due to major roads being flooded (N2) and possible damage to roads and bridges, and disruption to essential services (water, electricity, communication, schools, etc)”.

MEC Hlomuka warned residents and motorists living in these areas to exercise extreme caution.

Hlomuka with the MEC for Public works and Human Settlements Jomo Sibiya also officially launched the winter season disaster awareness campaign at eZibomvini as the province continues to grapple with inclement weather conditions.

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