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Paddock records more than 170mm of rain after heavy KZN downpour

Picture of brown, swollen river gushing through a rural area.

UMtamvuna Lowlift pumps have been shut off for safety reasons due to the river flow being extremely high. Picture: Screenshot

Published Jun 28, 2023


Durban — Four areas in KwaZulu-Natal recorded a significant amount of rainfall following heavy downpour in the province on Tuesday.

This was according to the South African Weather Service (Saws).

Saws forecaster Wiseman Dlamini said there had been a warning on Tuesday for the South Coast of KZN, which is part of the Ugu District Municipality.

“Looking at the rainfall amount, they received the highest rainfall Starting with the Margate area, they had about 52.4mm; Paddock (near Oribi Gorge) had about 176.8mm; followed by Mt Edgecombe, in Durban, where they had about 72.4mm; and then Durban Central had 30.9mm,” Dlamini said.

“Those were the major rainfall amounts recorded over KZN yesterday (Tuesday).”

Meanwhile, Ugu District Municipality spokesperson France Zama said the Umtamvuna pump station’s lowlift pumps (near Port Edward) have been shut off for safety reasons due to the river flow being extremely high.

Zama said there is also an Eskom power failure reported.

“We await urgent interventions from Eskom,” he said. “The latter will have a negative effect on our plans to build dam supply, initially expected to be opened on Friday.

“Relief supply is also affected as there is no production at this stage until it is safe to allow pumps to operate.”

Zama said that the municipality would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

On Tuesday, he said that the Umzinto pump station was affected by an Eskom outage due to cable theft and repairs were delayed by heavy rains.

He added that high river levels at Esperanza continue to affect abstraction points and will therefore affect supply, while uMzinto reservoir cleaning is complete and the process to fill the reservoir has started. After that, supply will be opened gradually to affected communities.

Earlier, Zama said that due to the high flows of water coming from the uMzimkulu River, the St Helen’s Rock pump station was put off-line to safeguard pumps from floods. The off-channel storage was at 74%, which meant there would not be immediate interruptions.

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