Weather causes transport havoc

Weather causes transport havoc

Floods have ravaged roads in the Eastern Cape and a colossal hailstorm has caused severe damage to vehicles in the east of Johannesburg, following a weekend of freak weather.

For Gauteng, the hailstorm hit momentarily on Saturday afternoon, leaving a path of damage and destruction. Hail the size of golf balls shattered windscreens, bonnets and windows of vehicles, amounting to an expensive sum of damage for motorists.

Dial Direct insurance was overwhelmed with claims after the storm, revealing that it received 3 302 motor and non-motor claims within 12 hours, only to have more claims coming through thereafter. A large percentage of these came from the Germiston, Edenvale, Boksburg and Sunnyridge areas.

“This is definitely the most destructive storm we have ever seen,” says senior executive of Dial Direct, Bradley Du Chenne.

In the Eastern Cape, disaster management teams and road agency officials were assessing the rain damage to the roads on Monday (October 22).

Weather causes transport havocA non-stop weekend of rainfall and general bad weather caused an embankment on the N2 to collapse, leaving a 45-metre gap in the road, cutting off access between Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth. This main channel of road was unusable and had been closed off to all motorists.

The South African Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) was looking at the best methods to repair the road but the severe damage is expected to result in repairs continuing well into 2013.

Sanral released recommended alternative routes via the R343, leading off the N2 about 10 km west of Grahamstown to Kenton-on-Sea and then via the R72 to Port Elizabeth. The N2 between Peddie and King Williams Town have been re-opened to traffic.

There was a partial collapse of the R72 between Port Alfred and Alexandria, but temporary arrangements have been made to open one lane with a “stop and go” operation in place.

The recommended route for all heavy vehicles travelling between Port Elizabeth and East London is to turn on the R63 and continue through Fort Beaufort and Bedford to the N10, past Paterson and Nanga to join the N2 to Port Elizabeth.

The St Francis Bridge in Humansdorp also collapsed due to the rainfall. Drivers were advised to show extreme caution on all roads.

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