A taxi driver and passenger were injured when a tree fell on the vehicle as it drove past in Westmead. Picture: ANDREAS MATHIOS - Blue Security
A taxi driver and passenger were injured when a tree fell on the vehicle as it drove past in Westmead. Picture: ANDREAS MATHIOS - Blue Security

PICS & VIDEOS: KZN braces for more storms after tennis ball size hail pounds PMB

By Thobeka Ngema Time of article published Nov 19, 2020

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Durban - Inclement weather conditions are expected to continue in KwaZulu-Natal as hail the size of tennis balls fell in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday afternoon while parts of Durban central and surrounding areas were shocked by the intensity of an early morning thunderstorm.

The storm led to localised flooding, road closures and confused residents.

Blue Security spokesperson Andreas Mathios said areas affected by the thunderstorm and localised flooding included, but were not limited to, the M19, Reservoir Hills, Rick Turner Road and Gale Street.

Mathios said the stormwater drains along Umgeni Road were flooded and the stormwater drains along Gale Street were blocked.

He said that in Pinetown, all the litter from the Umbilo River was deposited on Stapleton Road.

Hail the size of tennis balls fell in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday. Picture: Supplied.

“This is not the first time this has happened, it has been ongoing for years. That road is completely blocked off by the litter that came from the river.”

Precast Cement Products managing director Keith Brockton said the eThekwini Municipality quickly cleaned up the debris that had washed on to Stapleton Road yesterday.

Brockton said that during their operating hours, the road had been closed from 7am to 11am.

By midday traffic was flowing.

After 6am yesterday morning, a driver and a passenger were seriously injured after a tree collapsed on to a passing taxi on Trafford Road in Westmead.

Rescue Care spokesperson Rowan Scandroglio said the driver and passenger were trapped in the taxi, and Rescue Care Advanced Life Support Paramedics worked to stabilise the patients while the Netcare 911 Rescue Unit together with the Durban Fire Department used the Jaws of Life to cut the patients from the vehicle.

Once free both patients were transported to hospital. SA Weather Service (Saws) forecaster Stacy Colborne said Saws had issued a warning for thunderstorm activity for the southern parts of KwaZulu-Natal, including Durban.

Hail the size of tennis balls fell in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday afternoon while parts of Durban central and surrounding areas were shocked by the intensity of an early morning thunderstorm. Picture: Supplied.

Colborne said 16mm of rain fell in Durban between Tuesday and yesterday morning.

She said it was normal during the season to expect thunderstorm activity.

“The majority of rainfall comes from thunderstorms, and these are usually accompanied by lightning, rain and the possibility of hail. The severity of the storm can only be judged day to day.

“Not all days will have thunderstorm activity, but some days will be cloudy with rainfall.”

Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the Forecast Early Warning System (Fews), which was launched last week, started monitoring on Monday.

Mayisela said Fews sent out messages to their team at 4am yesterday.

The readings did not indicate a massive storm, just heavy rain.

Their Fews team was on the ground monitoring the situation closely, especially in vulnerable areas that have a history of localised flooding.

No messages were issued to residents to avoid causing panic. He also said there were teams on the ground compiling information regarding mop-up operations.

Residents called in to report flooding, and two homes were reported to have been flooded.

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka has warned residents in the affected areas to avoid low-lying roads and bridges as these are susceptible to flooding.

Those who may find themselves outside during a thunderstorm are urged to seek shelter immediately, but not under trees, telephone lines or power lines

Daily News

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