Keetmanshoop rainstorm causes damage but brings joy

19 Jan 2016 16:00pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 19 JAN (NAMPA) – A heavy rainstorm here in the early morning hours of Tuesday left half the town without electricity and most businesses flooded.
Residents reported rainfall figures between 56mm and 80mm in the various suburbs.
At least five electricity poles and one tree were uprooted by strong winds and rain during the lightning-filled storm, estimated to have lasted for more than an hour in this southern capital.
Damages to goods and products were recorded at some outlets in the central business area as well as the Mutual Mall.
Most shops opened late while shop workers were seen cleaning floors behind closed doors.
“It took us by surprise; we were shocked to find all this water on the floor when we came to work this morning,” Clicks store manager Cylvanus Coleman told Nampa.
Receiving clients at the door, MTC supervisor Victor Adriaanse said the water and mud that seeped through the front doors caused only light damage.
Like all people spoken to, Adriaanse happily welcomed the rain that hit the south after a long spell of drought and death of thousands of animals across the country.
Shoprite opened on time as staff already started cleaning up by 06h00.
Insurance company Old Mutual, the owner and manager of Mutual Mall, was also flooded, but no damage occurred.
A manager there said she was not at liberty to speak for the company, but that damages experienced at shops in the mall were noted.
She was similarly giddy about the rain and hoped for more to come.
John Steenkamp, a senior electrician at Southern Electricity Company (SELCo), said the company would be busy all day to fix the broken electricity supply.
He said the uprooting of electrical poles and cables were normal during rain coupled with strong wind.
“Judging by the storm I witnessed, I expected worse,” he said.
Many people spoken to said they were woken up by the storm in the middle of the night. Some were in awe and fear of the non-stop lightning that accompanied the showers.
Municipal workers scooping up mud and sand from the streets were equally delighted.
“We are happy, it rained a lot and the rain even gave us a lot of work,” one casual worker laughed.
Keetmanshoop Municipality Manager for Community and Economic Affairs Jegg Christiaan said his office was assessing all damage to public areas.
“We have started the rectification of roads and will continue for the rest of the week, rains permitting, to remove debris and soil deposits all over town,” he said.
Weather forecaster Odilo Kgobetsi said more showers could be expected in the south until at least Thursday when clouds are expected to disappear.
He said the south-eastern parts, especially, could still expect thunderstorms with skies expected to clear by Friday.