Just last weekend were talking about how dry the weather had been but the situation changed with a vengeance last night and this morning. There was some rain overnight in Waterfall but I went into Durban this morning without realising just how much rain had fallen in other areas. I was at Mr Mozzies in Argyle Road around midday when the heavens opened and it began pelting with rain. During a slight lull, I ran to the car and set off up Argyle Road as the rain came gain in full force.
I have to say that I’ve never seen anything quite like it as we inched up Argyle with hazard lights flashing and visibility severely reduced as result of the driving rain. The gutters weren’t coping and there were sheets of water hurtling down the hill. I eventually made it to the top of the hill and turned into Ridge Road with the rain still heavy. I then headed down Crescent Road where I saw floods of red soil-stained water flowing down to Alpine Road. I needed to keep all my attention on the road, but it looked as though a considerable amount of damage was being done.
In Alpine Road and Brickfield Road, the water levels had risen to almost covering the centre island and SUVs were throwing up wakes that would have put a jet boat to shame. It was still raining heavily when I turned into Sparks Road, heading in the direction of 45th Cutting. There were large pools of the dirty red red rainwater lying all over and, again, the impression of lots damage done. By the time I had reached Jan Smuts Highway, the rain was easing off and by the time I got to Westville, there were only a few spots falling.
We will probably only get a full picture of the effects of the rain in a couple of days but this afternoon’s Daily News (18 June 2008) reported that:
- A British Airways flight skidding off the runway at Durban International.
- 100 residents of an old age complex in Amanzimtoti having to be rescued after spending much of the night in the hall.
- A block of flats in Amanzimtoti had to evacuated.
- Residents of Club Marina at Ifafa Beach had to be rescued by jetski.
- The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) rescued people from the Pont Holiday Resort in Port Edward.
- Many motorists were trapped in heavy traffic caused by mudslides and standing water on the roads.
- A deep puddle on the Southern Freeway near Victoria Embankment shut the freeway down to one lane of traffic.
The SA Weather Service website reported that 72mm of rain had fallen in four hours at Lois [sic] Botha airport in Durban. The change of the airport’s name to Durban International years ago hasn’t made much impact there, then. They also reported rainfall of 382mm at Paddock on the South Coast, breaking the previous record of 337mm set in 1964.