Wolwerivier wind storm leaves misery in its wake

One home was destroyed and five others damaged during a wind storm that hit Wolwerivier last Friday.

Gale-force winds destroyed one home in Wolwerivier last Friday and damaged five others, according to the City’s disaster risk management spokeswoman, Charlotte Powell.

The night before, strong winds hit Hanover Park, injuring three people and damaging 30 homes.

Wolwerivier ward committee member Lu-Anne Dodgen described the winds that hit around 10am on Friday as a “tornado”.

“There was damage to some houses, and we are helping to raise funds for basics like clothes, blankets, bedding, shoes and food. We want to help the people rebuild. Roofs were ripped off. Eskom is on site trying to reconnect cables as we have live cables that are on the ground. We have one of the spaza shops that’s also been affected. The whole roof came off,” she said.

Twelve people had been left without shelter, and while some had been taken in by neighbours, most of had been housed at the community centre, said Ms Dodgen.

Wolwerivier resident Anele Mlonyeni, who was among those left homeless by the storm, said he was grateful that he and his family had escaped unharmed.

“I just thank God for keeping me and my family safe. No one was injured and no one died, and that we have to be grateful for.

“We are also lucky that we have caring neighbours who are very helpful and provided us with a place to sleep. We are also grateful to our community leaders and organisations who have come together to help those in need.

“Even during this tragedy, we can be happy that there are good people around here who are always willing to help.”

Ms Powell said: “Damages to the properties were mostly a result of debris from the roofs blown off from surrounding properties. No injuries or deaths were reported. Emergency sheltering was arranged at the Wolwerivier community hall. Non-profit partners assisted with humanitarian relief.”

Gift of the Givers is helping the community with rebuilding efforts, according to spokesman Ali Sablay.

Visit giftofthegivers.org or call 0800 786 911 to make a contribution.