Hailstorm destroys five power pylons

Thursday afternoon's hailstorm in the South toppled five power pylons that had been standing for 39 years.

02 November 2021 | Weather

ELVIRA HATTINGH

WINDHOEKThursday afternoon's hailstorm in Keetmanshoop and the surrounding area destroyed five power pylons, Nampower spokesperson Rosa Nikanor has confirmed.

At the same time, it caused serious damage to at least two houses at Keetmanshoop and in the Karas Mountains, while farmers say the hail even killed birds.

Nikanor says the storm damaged the 220-kilovolt power line that connects the Kokerboom substation near Keetmanshoop to the Hardap substation at Mariental.

"There are no customers who have a connection between the two stations, so no one was affected by the event," she said.

The five pylons that were blown over, bent and ripped from their foundations during the storm each weighed about 14 tonnes and were 33.4 m tall.

She says the towers were designed to withstand all Namibian weather conditions and had done so for 39 years.

"NamPower will temporarily make an alternative plan to ensure that electricity supply can continue as normal. However, it may take about ten days,” she added.

She said it could take up to two months to erect new pylons, depending on the availability of the necessary materials.

She says one such pylon costs about N$600 000, excluding its foundation.

Havoc on farms

The same storm also caused serious damage to the house of Hendrik Steenkamp, who farms at Spitzkop-Oos, 40 km northeast of Keetmanshoop.The roof was ripped off, and much of the ceiling was also destroyed. Steenkamp estimates the damage at N$500 000."The storm was so severe that it killed some rosy-faced lovebirds. Others' feathers were broken off and they were walking around here,” Steenkamp told Republikein. A camelthorn tree on the farm was also uprooted.Steenkamp said the sky turned dark as the storm approached. First there was a dust storm, followed by hail and then a rainstorm with a very strong wind.About 15 km outside Keetmanshoop, solid blocks of ice formed in riverbeds as the hailstones were swept away by rainwater.On the Facebook page ‘Rain in Namibia’, Rina Booysen shared photos of her house in the Karas Mountains whose windows were shattered by "hailstones as big as golf balls". Heat wave next The rainy weather will make way for scorching temperatures this week.The weather office predicts that it will be partly cloudy and cool to warm in the //Karas Region, with a few showers in the far southwest. The Zambezi Region will also be partly cloudy and very hot with a few thundershowers.Elsewhere it will be sunny and very hot with fresh to strong westerly winds.

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