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 killed 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 and deposited large quantities of sediment over this flood plain. Many bridges were washed away but the destruction of the Mdloti and Tugela river bridges on the N2 highway caused the greatest disruption (report: Badenhorst et al. 1989).
A letter to Aitch from Lyn in Hella Hella:
Top picture is actually of the Umgeni river. We went to help ferry 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.
The Umgeni at Blue Lagoon: