City res­i­dents warned of more heavy thunderstorms this week

The Witness - - FRONT PAGE - VIN­CENT MADLOPHA • vin­cent.madlopha@wit­ness.co.za

PI­ETER­MAR­ITZBURG res­i­dents must brace them­selves for a rainy week, with the South African Weather Ser­vice (SAWS) ex­pect­ing thun­der­show­ers un­til Fri­day.

SAWS said 34,2 mm of rain was recorded af­ter Sun­day night’s hail storm. Res­i­dents re­ported al­most golf ball­sized hail in many ar­eas.

Police yes­ter­day con­firmed search and res­cue teams were search­ing for a per­son who drowned in Duzi River in Sobantu, but more in­for­ma­tion was not im­me­di­ately avail­able.

Sun­day’s hail dam­aged dozens of ve­hi­cles, lo­cal panel beat­ers told The Wit­ness.

Some sub­urbs also ex­pe­ri­enced power out­ages af­ter Sun­day’s storm.

The KwaZulu­Natal De­part­ment of Co­op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs (Cogta) con­firmed dis­as­ter man­age­ment teams were ready to be dis­patched should Pi­eter­mar­itzburg ex­pe­ri­ence ex­treme dam­age from the rain.

SAWS fore­caster Stacy Col­borne said there was an 80% chance of thun­der­show­ers to­day.

“There is a 30% chance of rain on Wed­nes­day [to­mor­row] morn­ing then we can also ex­pect a 30% chance of rain­fall on Thurs­day evening and 30% on Fri­day morn­ing,” said Col­borne.

Col­borne ad­vised mo­torists to re­duce speed on high­ways as vis­i­bil­ity will be low and large pud­dles will col­lect on roads.

“Res­i­dents should be care­ful when cross­ing over small low­ly­ing bridges, in case of flood­ing due to high vol­umes of wa­ter,” she added.

“Res­i­dents should avoid trav­el­ling un­nec­es­sar­ily and should not use the cruise con­trol fea­ture in wet con­di­tions,” she said.

Mo­tor ve­hi­cle own­ers have been flood­ing into lo­cal panel beat­ers af­ter their cars were dam­aged by the hail on Sun­day.

Bianca Ma­haraj of Auto Raven Panel beat­ers in the CBD said they had more than 10 cus­tomers that came in for body work quo­ta­tions be­fore 10 am yes­ter­day, and added that they were ex­pect­ing more cus­tomers dur­ing the day.

Estelle Schoe­man of Com­mer­cial Panel Beat­ers also said they had nu­mer­ous cus­tomers yes­ter­day for quo­ta­tions be­cause of hail dam­age.

The Wit­ness un­der­stands that Town­bush Road, Bis­ley, Chase Val­ley, Belfort, Masons and Scottsville ex­pe­ri­enced power out­ages.

Msun­duzi Mu­nic­i­pal­ity spokesper­son Thobeka Ma­fum­batha said the ar­eas with­out power were be­ing dealt with as and when they were re­ported.

Mean­while, in Gaut­eng yes­ter­day a huge thun­der and hail­storm caused chaos on the roads with many ar­eas flooded. Two peo­ple were in­jured when part of the roof was ripped off the Cradle­stone Mall in Krugers­dorp and the ceil­ing col­lapsed, while roofs were ripped off houses as well.

PHOTO: STEPH SAVILLE

A huge pud­dle in Wil­low­ton Road proved to be a chal­lenge for some mo­torists yes­ter­day in the heavy down­pour as they slowed right down to ne­go­ti­ate it. Oth­ers seemed to en­joy speed­ing up to­wards the pud­dle to get a sat­is­fy­ing splash as they went through.

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