Damage control in Maritzburg

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nm pmb storm 3 Independent Newspapers This car was lost amid branches and debris after the storm that swept through Pietermaritzburg at the weekend. Municipal workers have been working at full steam to clear roads and restore infrastructure.Picture: Shan Pillay

KwaZulu-Natal - The mopping up of storm damage in Pietermaritzburg was in full swing on Monday after trees were torn down, roads flooded, roofs blown off and walls collapsed in a storm at the weekend.

The Sunday afternoon storm also swept through the Midlands and Drakensberg.

Much of the city was without electricity after the high winds and lightning knocked out the power supply.

Msunduzi municipal spokeswoman Nqobile Madonda said that between 1 500 and 2 000 houses were damaged.

“None of the families left their property and the disaster relief kits have brought some assistance to them,” she said. Despite the damage, no one was homeless.

Areas worst-affected were Copesville, Haniville, Cinderella Park and Caluza in Edendale.

“There was structural damage to houses. Roofs were blown off, walls caved in and houses were flooded,” she said.

Madonda said the electricity department was still working to restore power to many areas including Pelham, Scottsville, Eastwood and Montrose. Outside contractors had been hired to assist with the workload.

Lightning also caused damage to primary sub-stations.

“Roads were damaged because of fallen trees. Hilton was the hardest hit – trees fell on the electricity lines,” said

uMngeni (Howick) municipal manager Mpilo Ngubane.

Department of Co-operative Governance spokesman Lennox Mabaso said they had only received storm damage reports from the Msunduzi municipality. There were also unconfirmed reports of damage in Wartburg, Greytown and Dalton. The Umfhwathi (Wartburg) municipality reported two deaths by lightning, one in Mtanzi, the other in Cool Air.

Weather forecaster Lucky Makhwedzha said the thunderstorm

lasted about 30 minutes.

“This is common for summer,” he said. - The Mercury

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