Eskom teams still working on restoring power to storm-hit Eastern Cape

A well-built wall collapsed in the tornado and storms. Photo: Supplied

Due to severe weather conditions this week, the work that had to be done by technicians was delayed, as they had to ensure their safety before they could continue with restorations. 

Eskom has edged closer to completing the restoration of electricity to consumers affected by severe storms that swept through the Eastern Cape this week. 

On Wednesday, Eskom said the extent of damage in some areas, and limited resources, meant more time was required. 

Teams had been working on restoring electricity to thousands since Tuesday.

The most adversely affected areas were Lusikisiki, Mount Frere, Mthatha, Idutywa, Ugie, Elliot and Whittlesea. 

A tornado classified on the Enhanced Fujta scale as an EF3 sized storm wreaked havoc in Mthatha on Tuesday evening, ripping sheets off houses, damaging infrastructure, and even tossing a car into the air. 

Extensive damage caused to a car that was flung into the air by a suspected tornado in Mthatha. Photo: Supplied

The tornado formed part of a series of multicell storms spanning 280km that caused severe downpours, strong winds and localised flooding. 

Due to the severe weather conditions, the work that had to be done by technicians was delayed, as they had to ensure their safety before they could continue with restorations. 

Road infrastructure was also damaged in this week’s storms, preventing teams from reaching hard-hit areas with vehicles. Eskom said on Thursday it had requested the use of a helicopter to assist technicians in reaching the sites that required restoration.

The power utility once again appealed for patience, and advised for all customers to treat electricity appliances as live, “as electricity could be restored at any time.”

Compiled by Nica Richards

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