Silver lining to Amanzimtoti storm chaos

PHOTO: Angus Pyke

ONE would be forgiven for focusing solely on the chaos that ensued during Tuesday’s torrential deluge which dumped more than 140mm on Amanzimtoti, however the outpouring of support and concern for others has left a lasting legacy.

Amanzimtoti’s silver lining shone through in the way the community as well as emergency responders reacted in the wake of the downpour.

View Angus Pyke’s gallery: The calm after the Amanzimtoti storm 

Throughout Tuesday, 10 October, when the devastating storm uprooted countless trees and downed as many boundary walls, , good Samaritans not only opened their eyes to the chaos unfolding around them but made action to comfort those worse off than they.

A garden flat in Winifred Close was submerged in water after the nearby stream filled to a raging river on Tuesday, 10 October.


Read also: #DurbanStorm wreaks havoc at Amanzimtoti SPCA 

Sean de Gray Birch assisted in towing a fellow 4×4 out of the waist-deep water that had gathered in the Umdoni dip near Kingsway High School with his Toyota, with his whole family inside. This is but one of many cases of strangers pulling one another out of not sticky, but rather drenched situations.

A supplied photo showing the extreme amounts of water gathered in the Umdoni dip.


Kingsway High School’s devastation: #DurbanStorm damage closes Amanzimtoti local school

Toti Conservancy’s Angus Pyke also looked at the positives, considering that 10,000 weevils which had been imported to rid the Little Toti River of its water hyacinth problem were all washed out to sea, but along with them 100 tonnes of the much-despised water lettuce itself. Angus also captured the bright orange-pink sky late on Tuesday afternoon, assuring the ravaged town that there is hope after all.

Read about the return of his anchor: #DurbanStorm returns lost anchor to buoyant owner 

Angus Pyke’s near-forgotten ski-boat anchor has resurfaced after months tangled on the bed of the the Little Toti River.


Voluntary Emergency Medial Services showed its over-and-beyond capability to act in a time when devastation and chaos strikes, doing so without payment or credit in return.

“Even amid the mayhem, there is always some humour to be found, and some Ford Ranger and VW drivers among others didn’t fail to deliver,” said Cllr Andre Beetge. “The Rangers appear like long-legged ants during and after the storm, as it appeared their drivers couldn’t wait to test whether their vehicles could actually run dry through deep water or manage to stay in a straight line when hitting puddles at ridiculous speeds. Some of these drivers believe the brand of vehicle they drive are direct descendants of the famous U boats. On a more serious note, let us not despair but rebuild our town and accept that we have no control and remain subject to the forces of nature.”

Cllr Beetge shared on social media some of the scenes of devastation from across Amanzimtoti. His photos, videos and warnings of blocked roads and such were pivotal in keeping the town functional. He roped everyone together, creating a strength between residents and council department officials based locally. While warning everyone to stay off the roads, Cllr Beetge put himself in the thick of the storm, to lend a hand where he could.

Incase you missed this frightening video: Amanzimtoti storm turns stream into raging river 

Compassion and kindness shone brighter than Tuesday’s storm chaos, proving unity exists in this community. From every quarter of the small town, people shared their shelter, warmth, food, drink, 4x4s and even cleaning appliances to help others get through the day. A seemingly dark, gloomy and very wet and windy day had a remarkable silver lining to it.

Call centre numbers:
Ethekwini electricity 080-1313111
Ethekwini engineering 080-1313013
Ethekwini Emergency services 031-361-0000


PHOTO: Angus Pyke


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Holly Konig

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