Extensive damage has been done to property, roads and infrastructure by heavy rains and gale force winds on the KZN South Coast over the past three days. It is evident that serious damage has been done over a wide area, running into hundreds of thousand of rands.
eHowz!t has been receiving reports from all over the region about houses being flooded, roofs leaking where they have never leaked before, uprooted trees, waterlogged roads and bridges, mud slides and hundreds of thousands of rands of damage. Newspaper reports said trees had been blown over in Marine Drive, Oslo Beach, Link and Commercial Roads in Tweni, on the P200 near the Ivungu Bridge and near the police station in Margate.
Residents in Margate who measure their rainfall, told eHowz!t that by Wednesday evening, nearly 200 millimetres had fallen within 24 hours. The average wind speed on Tuesday evening was calculated at just under 50 kilometres per hour. The Ugu municipality’s offices in Olso Beach suffered serious damage, and at St Michael’s, a tent erected to accomodate a holiday event, was wrecked by the storm.
In the Port Edward area a multitude of pipes were damaged, and according to ward councillor Dave Watson Ugu technicians have been working flat-out to try and repair these. In some areas the roads are so impassable that tankers can’t get in an residents can’t get out. The rivers in the area are in flood. Cllr. Watson said as far as rainfall in the area was concerned, the average of three people who gave reliable figures, was an amazing 435 millimetres in 24 hours. Late yesterday winds were gusting up to 8o kilometres per hour. Port Edward South seemed to have the worst damage, probably because the roads in that area had been in a bad condition to start with. Large businesses along that road are also isolated with Bargains suffering serious damage. Cllr. Watson told eHowz!t that the bridge over the Zolwane in Old Pont Road was closed at least three times due to overflowing.
Later in the evening Cllr. Watson infornmed eHowzit that the bridge over Albert Road had been totally washed away, and this completely cut off the large clinic in Port Edward that served hundreds of patients per day. The roads in Kwlatshoda and Mzimakwe had been completely ruined, he said, and there were numerous houses without proper roofing after losing the roofs in the heavy winds. Adobe huts had collapsed, leaving residents homeless. Parts of Munster and Port Edward had still been without water since yesterday morning.
Cllr Watson said he had completed an initial assessment for declaring as disaster area and sent it to the Ugu District Municipality. They would approach the Provincial authorities, who were the only ones who could declare a disaster area. He said by close of business yesterday he had not heard anything. He praised the HCM Fire Department and Protection Services for superb response and service. “Our local supervisor of roads battled valiantly but with limited resources she only had limited effect.” He had had no response from any senior Municipal or Council official.
eHowzit received reports of damage varying in seriousness from Margate, Uvongo, Oslo Beach, Umtentweni, Hibberdene and as far inland as Paddock.
We left cellphone messages with the HCM’s communication staff, but at the time this was written, no input had been received yet.
eHowz!t’s camera roved around the stricken areas yesterday, and this is a video of the overall picture…….the last few photos of his flooded house were supplied by Mark du Toit of Margate…….
EDITOR’S NOTE: WE WILL BE POSTING PHOTOS LATER TODAY OF STORM DAMAGE IN PORT EDWARD