Late rains bring relief
GOOD rains, although late this year, have been welcomed by the farming community.
Measurements of between 96.6mm (St Lucia) and 149mm (Gingindlovu) were recorded in Zululand.
Rainfall dropped off dramtically in the north with Hluhluwe receiving only 13.3mm (the lowest) and Nylalazi (north of St Lucia) 66.8mm.
October kicked off with good showers with Fred Lubbe recording over 150mm for the month on his farm outside Empangeni.
Most areas received over 50mm and cane harvesting operations have not been adversely affected.
Rain has caused the Goedertrouw Dam to fill up slightly.
According to the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation's Water Controller Officer at the Goedertrouw Dam, Vincent Makhaye the level was 47.1 percent on Friday morning.
This could increase slightly as water is still flowing into the dam from the catchment area.
The moisture has been critical, as unseasonal winds have created critical fire conditions over the region.
Normally the winds pick up in August and subside by the end of September, but this has not been the case this year.
FOUR airliners were diverted at the Richards Bay Airport last week owing to the heavy rains and thunderstorms that hit the province.
Richards Bay Airport Manager, Oscar Nzima said the diversions were a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of all passengers.
‘The pilot makes the call to divert the plane if they are unable to see the airport runway clearly,’ he said.
Nzima said that diversions are normal procedure when an airliner cannot land at an intended airport.
SA Express which operates on the route between Richards Bay and Johannesburg confirmed that two of their airliners were diverted.
‘SA Express flights travelling from Richards Bay were affected during the morning and the evening.
‘The planes were diverted to the nearest airport which is King Shaka International Airport.
‘Passengers were transported by bus via road transport from Richards Bay Airport to King Shaka International,’ said SA Express spokesperson, Madikwe Mabotha.
KZN Disaster Management teams were on high alert last week owing to the warning of heavy rains and thunderstorms issued by the South African weather services over the interior parts of the province.
KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional
Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa DubeNcube urged residents to take great caution as thunderstorms pose a serious threat to human life.
‘In our province, bad weather patterns tend to leave a trail of death and destruction in their wake every year. We are therefore urging our communities to take great caution,’ she said.
The Goedertrouw Dam stood at 47.1 percent capacity on Friday morning