Floods in KwaZulu Natal 1987

September 1987 floods

Between 28 and 30 September, the central and southern part of Natal were ravaged by floods that were amongst the most devastating to have occurred in South Africa. The destruction of property was catastrophic, nearly 400 people died and about 50 000 were left homeless. Damage to agriculture, communications, infrastructure and property amounted to R400 million (report: De Villiers et al, 1994).

The Mgeni and Mvoti rivers had flood duration periods of up to 24 hours and this caused dramatic erosion. In the Mgeni the island near the mouth was totally removed and scour of generally about 2m took place. In the Mvoti the river channel, normally 35m, widened to about 900m. Large quantities of sediment were deposited over the flood plain. Many bridges were washed away. The greatest disruption to humans was caused by the destruction of the Mdloti and Tugela river bridges on the N2 highway (report: Badenhorst et al. 1989).

A letter to Aitch from Lyn from their game farm at Hella Hella in the Umkomaas river valley:

Flood 1987 Letter (1) crop
Letter to Aitch from Lyn Porter

————————

Flood 1987 Letter crop (2)

Top picture is actually of the Umgeni river. We went with the 4X4 people to help ferry stranded people across to their homes or back from their homes so they could go to town. Corran Addison in pic. On my one trip I had a person plus a bag of mealie meal on the deck of my kayak.

The Umgeni at Blue Lagoon:

1987_flood_Umgeni mouth_2

We got married on Lyn & Barry’s farm in the Umkomaas valley the following February and the effects of the flood were still being felt.

2 thoughts on “Floods in KwaZulu Natal 1987

  1. Jon Taylor

    Interesting bit of history – I didnt see the pictures of the Umgeni?

    On Sun, Feb 11, 2018 at 6:15 PM, Bewilderbeast Droppings wrote:

    > bewilderbeast posted: “September 1987 floods Between 28 and 30 September, > the central and southern part of Natal were ravaged by floods that were > amongst the most devastating to have occurred in South Africa. The > destruction of property was catastrophic, nearly 400 people were” >

    Like

    • bewilderbeast

      The feature pic of Corran ferrying a lady across the swollen river was taken on the Umgeni. I have also added a pic of the Umgeni river mouth in Durban.

      Like

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