City residents warned of more heavy thunderstorms this week
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.
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.