KZN saw eight new rain records on Tuesday, with Margate doubling a high set 25 years ago

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Part of Caversham Road in Pinetown washed away this week. (Photo by Gallo Images/Darren Stewart)

  • Eight weather stations in KwaZulu-Natal set new records for rainfall on Tuesday, preliminary data shows.
  • At Margate on the South Coast, 311mm of rain was recorded – more than doubling a record set 25 years ago.
  • Three other weather stations recorded more than 300mm of rain, on ground already saturated by days of heavy rain.
  • The SA Weather Service believes things will clear up in the next few days, but the province may see some more rain on the weekend.
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UPDATE | KZN floods have been declared a provincial disaster, unlocking hundreds of millions

Eight weather stations in KwaZulu-Natal set new record highs for rainfall on Tuesday, preliminary data from the SA Weather Service shows.

Three measured more than 300mm of rain over a 24-hour period.

At Margate on the KZN South Coast, the 311mm of rain recorded was double the highest daily rainfall previously seen there, almost exactly 25 years ago in 1997.

Like much of the province, Margate was already saturated, with 162mm of rain in the ten days leading up to flooding this week.

Pennington South, halfway up the cost to Durban, and Mount Edgecombe, just north of Durban, each saw a little over 307mm of rain on Tuesday. 

The other daily records set in the province were at:

  • Port Edward, with 188mm
  • Emerald Dale, with 74mm
  • Pietermaritzburg, with 99mm
  • Virginia, with 304mm
  • King Shaka, with 225mm

High, but not record-setting, levels of rain were also recorded elsewhere, with Riverview seeing 54mm, Mooi River and Greytown both seeing 44mm, and Mbazwane – which set a new record on Monday – recording 37mmm.

See also | Parts of KwaZulu-Natal had five months' worth of rain yesterday – with more to come

The rains across KZN are now forecast to clear somewhat in the coming days, and severe weather warnings have been lifted. But the weekend will see a return to rain for many parts of the province, the SA Weather Service predicts, albeit at a level much more typical for April.

A high profile delegation from the national government, including President Cyril Ramaphosa and police minister Bheki Cele, visited flood-hit parts of the province on Wednesday, News24 reported.

More than 140 schools have been affected by flooding, as has the port of Durban, and many key routes remain closed due to washed-away roads and bridges and mudslides, with infrastructure repairs expected to take months.

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