Residents of Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo are counting the costs following storm damage to their houses on Saturday. More than a hundred structures were affected. Informal settlements at Volmoed, Black Joint, GG Camp and Kanaal bore the brunt of the storm.

In a matter of 15 minutes, hail, a gale force wind and 30 millimetres of rain left a trail of destruction. Roofs were blown off, houses flooded, with trees and electricity poles blown over. A Volmoed resident, Ghaz Hermanus, says he and his son were in their house when disaster struck.

“When we got to the bedroom the hail broke the window. I told my son we have to be strong. I took that big yellow blanket and two duvets and covered him, and said, my child we have to be strong and pray. Then the roof blew off.”

60-year old Katy Prinsloo was in tears explaining the damage to her house and furniture. She lives with her 28-year old son. She says she couldn’t believe that her roof blew away.

“I wasn’t here. They came to call me to see what happened. I didn’t think it was this bad, but when I saw my roof, I started crying.”

The local municipality has distributed plastic roof covers, blankets and building material to affected families. Mayor, Colan Sylvester, who visited the residents, says they will continue to assist them.

“Since yesterday we’ve handed out canvas sheets to cover the structures. We’re now in the process of handing out corrugated iron sheets to cover the roof tops of the homes. If need be, we’ll also apply at province for additional funding to relieve the areas mostly affected.”

Damage assessments are continuing.